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Court Freezes Gov. Fayose’s Account

In a lead judgment, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, directed the freezing of the account of the Ekiti state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

The court allowed the appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against the judgment of Justice Taiwo. O Taiwo of Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti division.

The three-man panel led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh allowed the appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Fayose’s victory at the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti. In a suit number, CA/EK/8/2017, the EFCC had urged the Appellant court to set aside the judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court Ado-Ekiti.

The panel held that the EFCC in its brief of appeal had convinced it that the accounts were used to keep funds suspected to be proceeds of crime.

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 but the appeal was dismissed by the Appeal Court, in a unanimous ruling delivered by Justice Fatima Omoro Akinbami, on the ground that EFCC did not attach notice of appeal and the ruling of Federal High Court Ado Ekiti. 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.

But at Thursday’s hearing at the Appeal Court, the EFCC in its brief argued that Fayose is a citizen of Nigeria and his accounts could be frozen if they are found to be used to hold proceeds of crime. The Commission contended that the immunity enjoyed by the governor does not preclude his account from being frozen.

 

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