Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, has dismissed the appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for stay of execution on the judgment delivered on December 13, 2016 ordering the anti-graft agency to unfreeze the governor’s accounts.
The EFCC had on June 21, 2016 frozen Fayose’s two accounts with a bank, alleging that they were proceeds of crime from the arms funds allegedly siphoned by the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dansuki.
Fayose had fought back the same month through his legal team, led by constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), challenging the legality of the anti-graft’s seizure of his funds and attempt to investigate him while he remains a sitting governor.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the court on December 13, 2016 ruled against the EFCC on the grounds that the EFCC’s actions contravened Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Subsequently, the court ordered the agency to un-freeze the governor’s accounts with immediate effect.
Fayose in a ceremonious manner, withdrew N5 million out of his money from the accounts two days after the ruling.
EFCC’s lead counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, while opposing the ruling filed a motion for stay of execution of the December 13, 2017 to among other reasons, allow the anti-graft agency preserve the funds in the accounts.
Responding to EFCCs appeal, counsel to Fayose, Bimpe Olatemiju, had sworn to a counter affidavit praying the court to dismiss the EFCC’s appeal.
Justice Taiwo of the court who dismissed the EFCC’s appeal tuesday, said the appeal was made in bad faith.
“The ruling is functus officio, so the EFCC application was instituted in bad faith. Initially, there was a suppression of facts particularly in the way the plaintiff brought in the judgments of other courts on the issue.
“If you examined critically, no proof of facts that an appeal has been entered, and again proceed of crime not a subject matter in the substantive suit coupled with the fact that the matter was not
instituted as a criminal suit.
“The court can’t go on voyage of discovery to fish for fact to grant equitable remedy when the respondent averred that he has defendants and ready to refund the money if found liable at trial after his tenure.
The court can’t stay a judgment already executed and the whole exercise in freezing the governor’s accounts amounts to breach of the provisions of Section 308, 1999 of the Constitution (amended),” he ruled.