Monday, 7 November 2016

Court fixes Dec. 2 to give judgement on Gov's frozen accounts

The Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti has fixed Monday, December 2, to give judgement on the freezing of  Zenith Bank accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on June 20 frozen the Governor's two accounts domiciled with the bank's Ado-Ekiti branch.

The presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo fixed the date following the adoption of written addresses and other evidence by parties involved in the suit.

Fayose's lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, had approached the court for an order ordering the EFCC - the first respondent, and Zenith Bank - the second respondent, to immediately lift the freeze order on the accounts.

Ozekhome argued that EFCC's acted illegally in the freezing of his client's personal accounts. He described it as unconstitutional and an infringement on the Fundamental Rights of the applicant.

He said the move of the anti-graft agency was contrary to Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended,  which granted immunity to a sitting governor not to be prosecuted in either civil or criminal matters.

According to NAN, some of the prayers sought by Fayose in suit number: FHC/AD/CS/27/2016 includes an order of the court for the immediate lifting of the freeze order on the accounts and to make same functional.

Ozekhome urged the court to grant all the prayers of the applicant while cost should also be awarded in favour of his client.

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

He also argued that Sections 19, 34 of the EFCC Establishment Act empowers the commission to carry out every action or step taken against the applicant.

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