NANS slams gov over non-payment of salaries
The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described the Lagos fiery lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, as a disgrace to the legal profession over the statement he allegedly made that the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has the power to freeze the governor’s account in spite of the immunity he enjoys.
In statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, Fayose described the human rights activist as a “mischievous lawyer,” who is always out to defend any position that satisfies his alleged self-serving interests.
He said: “Falana is only deceiving the EFCC on Fayose’s matter because of his ambition to contest the Ekiti State governorship election in 2018, thinking that he can achieve what he used the EFCC to achieve against Fayose in 2006 ten years after.”
Fayose said it was shameful that a lawyer of Falana’s standing could say that EFCC was empowered to freeze Nigerians’ bank accounts and secure court orders later.
The governor’s spokesperson said further: “The court order is a condition precedent before a bank account can be frozen and Section 34 of the EFCC Act is very clear on this. It is unambiguous.
It presupposes that EFCC cannot freeze the bank account of any Nigerian, no matter the status, without first obtaining a court order and making same available to the bank manager.
“This position was also expressed by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday when he ordered the EFCC to pay N12.5 million damages to the son of former Governor Murtala Nyako, Senator Abdulaziz Nyako, for the unlawful freezing of his account and illegal detention.
“It is therefore strange that a SAN could tell Nigerians that EFCC can carry out an action first and obtain a court order to justify the action later.
“If I may ask, was Falana called to the bar before he attended law school and passed his bar exams? Was Falana’s LLB certificate given to him before he got admission to the university? Was Falana’s Barrister at Law (BL) certificate issued to him before he attended the law school? Was Falana’s birth certificate issued before he was born? Was Falana’s marriage certificate issued before he got married? Has Falana ever travelled to UK or USA and obtained a visa later? Can I, because I can now quote some laws begin to practice as a lawyer and go to university to study law later?” he demanded to know.
Making allusion to how Falana has tactically been supporting the opposition, Fayose said: “For instance, over 10 Ekiti indigenes were murdered during the APC government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Falana kept silent. He also kept silent when the future of Ekiti State was being mortgaged to frivolous loans and deductions from workers salary were not being remitted. It also made no meaning to Falana that democratically-elected local government chairmen and councillors were sacked and council election was not conducted throughout the four years of APC government in Ekiti State.
“Instead of hiding under human rights activism to perpetrate evil against Ekiti and its people as he has always done, Falana should be bold enough to declare his governorship ambition, which is not hidden and let’s see how far he can go this time around.
“Like we have maintained, this is 2016 and 2006 that Falana and his criminal collaborators used EFCC to remove governors, Fayose whose impeachment was later declared illegal by the Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ekiti State chapter, yesterday embarked on a protest against the failure of Fayose to pay the salaries owed workers in Ekiti State.
The protesters who carried placards described Fayose as not been sincere and concerned about the plight of the striking workers.
Speaking with journalists, president of NANS Ekiti chapter, Comrade Shina Awopeju, lamented the strike had brought setback to the education sector in the state.
He said several school pupils have been staying at home for the past four weeks and students who were writing exams before the commencement of the strike are now being made to stop their exams as the strike continues.
Some of the placards read: “He who works deserved to be paid,” “Workers are dying of hunger,” “NANS say no to taxation of school pupils in Ekiti,” among others.
They were chanting several songs calling on governor Fayose to pay salaries of workers as many of them are experiencing serious hardship
Civil servants in Ekiti State are being owned five months salaries and other entitlements. As a result, civil servants in Ekiti embarked on an indefinite strike to push their demands.