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Frozen Accounts: Fayose Knows Fate Dec2


The Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, is to rule on December 2 in an application by Governor Ayo Fayose challenging the freezing of his personal bank accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


Justice Taiwo Taiwo fixed the date after parties adopted their written addresses and other evidences.

The EFCC, on June 24, froze Fayose’s accounts, claiming they were used to launder about N1.3 billion of the N4.7 billion arms cash from ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Fayose sued the EFCC and Zenith Bank, alleging persecution by the anti-graft agency and breach of privacy of his account by the bank.

The governor, through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, argued that EFCC’s action was illegal, unconstitutional and an infringement on his rights.

He said EFCC acted contrary to Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, which granted immunity to a sitting governor not to be prosecuted in either civil or criminal matters.

The senior lawyer argued that Fayose’s accounts wouldn’t have been frozen, if the judge was aware that the order so obtained was against the accounts of a sitting governor.

Ozekhome, in his counter affidavit on point of law, prayed the court to de-freeze Fayose’s accounts on the grounds that the EFCC allegedly suppressed the fact from Justice Ibrahim Idris of the Lagos Federal High Court, on June 24.

The lawyer urged the court to grant all prayers of the applicant and award cost in his client’s favour.

Adopting his written address and a 10-paragraph affidavit, EFCC’s counsel Rotimi Oyedepo told the court the commission acted within its statutory and constitutional power, citing Section 6(5) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

He argued that sections 19, 34 of the EFCC Establishment Act gave the agency powers to order the freezing of accounts used for money laundering.

Oyedepo said: “By the provisions of these sections, EFCC has the power to instruct Zenith Bank to place “Stop Order” on the account suspected to be proceeds of alleged crime.

“After the expiration of the 72-hour stop order by Section 6 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, the first respondent timeously obtained a court order through an originating summon.

“I submit that the argument of the applicant that the court should set aside the order, that the Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti lacks the jurisdiction to set aside order of interim attachment made in pursuant to EFCC Act.”

He added that the order by EFCC was to preserve the remaining funds so the investigation of the first respondent would not be prejudiced by conduct of the applicant.

Oyedepo urged the court to dismiss submissions of the applicant, saying the interim order obtained to stop any transaction on the frozen accounts be upheld.

Responding, Ozekhome urged the court to look critically at the veracity of authorities cited by Oyedepo, claiming he (Oyedepo) was wrong on authorities cited.

Ozekhome said: “My learned friend is wrong in many of the authorities cited thereto. This court issues a valid order on June 28, an ex parte against the EFCC and it is based on that court order that they appealed before my lord and filed all their counter-affidavits today.

“They cannot be heard to approbate and reprobate, blowing hot and cold simultaneously: that a valid court order that they (EFCC) have filed processes and complied with. The order was not irregular so the issue of service is not jurisdictional but merely procedural contrary to his contention

http://kleeqers.com/forum/politics/2752-frozen-accounts-fayose-knows-fate-dec-2
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