By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—Attempt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to restrain the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, from operating his accounts in Zenith Bank Plc, hit the rock, as the Appeal Court sitting in Ado Ekiti yesterday, dismissed the anti-graft agency’s application .
The Court which described the application as lacking in merit held that; “EFCC did not come with clean hands on the application for injunction it filed because it suppressed material facts, for example that a similar application the EFCC filed was earlier refused by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti,” agreeing with Governor Fayose’s Counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, that the entire application filed by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo was entirely unmeritorious.
On December 13, 2016, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti had ordered the EFCC to immediately unfreeze the accounts of the governor, saying the action of the EFCC was against due process and that the anti-graft agency did not follow the laid down regulations in freezing the governor’s accounts.
EFCC had appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court and sought an injunction, restraining the governor from operating the accounts pending the determination of the appeal.
Dismissing the appeal yesterday, the Appeal Court, in a unanimous ruling delivered by Justice Fatima Omoro Akinbami said that the EFCC did not attach notice of appeal and the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti judgment of December 13, 2016, which ordered the anti-graft agency to unfreeze the governor’s account that the EFCC appealed against.
The court also said that the alleged damning intelligent report by the EFCC, which it claimed to have received concerning money purportedly paid into Governor Fayose’s account by Senator Musiliu Obanikoro was not provided nor attached for the court to see.
The appeal court agreed with Governor Fayose’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) that “Fayose, being a sitting governor covered with immunity under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as admitted by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, has been shown to have been tried nor
found guilty by any court of law such as to tagged his bank accounts as proceeds of crime.”