• Says president not fit to intervene in Gambian political logjam
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described the Tuesday judgment of the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti declaring as illegal the freezing of his bank accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a defeat of fascism being experienced under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor who stated this in Ado Ekiti yesterday through his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, said: “The trial judge ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze the said accounts. This, again, is a welcome development.”
In his ruling, Justice Taiwo Taiwo said the EFCC viciously violated the laws of the land by deliberately neglecting to follow due process and laid down regulations in freezing my bank accounts.
The judge also found that the EFCC and its lawyers deliberately misled the court in securing its purported interim order to freeze my accounts by not declaring the identity of the owner of the account.
He commended Justice Taiwo for stating that as a sitting governor who enjoys “total constitutional immunity” under Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, no legal proceedings could be instituted against.
“To circumvent this, thereby perverting the course and cause of justice, the EFCC deliberately refused to declare my identity while moving against my accounts.
“The trial judge also found that I was deliberately kept in the dark about the EFCC’s sinister motives and devious plots in that I was not made a party to the case; yet, my accounts were the target of the EFCC’s actions.
“Justice Taiwo thus described this as a breach of my fundamental rights to fair hearing, adding: “The plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized; doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights.”
Meanwhile, Fayose has described President Buhari’s involvement in the meeting with President Yahya Jammeh to persuade him to concede defeat as an aberration, saying: “A man like Buhari under whose free, fair and credible elections no longer exist lacks moral rights to preach obedience to democratic principles to anyone.”
The governor said great Africans like former President Goodluck Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana and others who have lost elections and conceded defeat were in the best position to intervene in the Gambia and not someone like Buhari, who lost election three times and never conceded defeat.
He said: “With what happened in Rivers State last weekend, it is certain that votes of Nigerians will no longer be allowed to count as the APC cabal in the Presidential Villa has now assumed the roles of INEC, allocating votes to their party and using security agents to force their will on the people.”
Fayose asked: “Did President Buhari face Jammeh and advised him to accept defeat the way he (Buhari) conceded defeat in 2003, 2007 and 2011 when violence was instigated and several people, including youth corps members were killed? Or did Buhari lecture Jammeh to take to democracy at gunpoint, which is now the norm in Nigeria?
“How can Buhari, who has destroyed the legacy of free, fair and credible elections that was handed over to him, be the one to prevail on someone else to adhere to democratic principles?