In Ekiti, Court to Deliver Judgement December 2 on Fayose's Frozen Accounts
The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on Monday, fixed December 2 for judgment on the frozen accounts of Governor Ayodele Fayose's by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
Justice Taiwo order followed the adoptions of Written Addresses and other evidence by parties involved in the suit.
Fayose's two accounts domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc, Ado-Ekiti, were on May 24 frozen by the EFCC for allegedly being stashed with a sum of N2.99billion which was alleged to have been parts of the 2.3 billion dollars arms fund from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki.
Consequently, Fayose, through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, approached a Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti for an order ordering the respondents, that is EFCC,( first respondent) and Zenith Bank as the second respondent to immediately defreeze those accounts.
Ozekhome argued that the action of EFCC, placing embargo on his client's personal bank accounts was illegal, unconstitutional and constitute an infringement on the fundamental rights of the applicant.
The lawyer contended that the EFCC acted 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.
Prayers sought by the applicant in the suit number: FHC/AD/CS/27/2016 included: An order of the court for immediate defreezing of his accounts and make same functional.
Ozekhome urged the court to grant all the prayers of the applicant and that cost should also be awarded in favour of his client.
While adopting his Written Address supported by 10 paragraphs Affidavit, counsel to EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that Commission acted within its statutory and Constitutional power citing Section 6(5)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act,2011.
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He also argued that Sections 19,34 of the EFCC Establishment Act.
"By the provision of this Sections, EFCC has 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 hours stop order by Section 6 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, the first respondent timeously obtained a Court Order through an Expert Originating Summon.
"Justice M.B Idris of the Lagos Division on June 24 to freeze the accounts of the applicant as shown by Exhibit EFCC 09.
" I submit that the argument of the applicant that the court should set-aside the Order, that Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti lacks the jurisdiction to set-aside Order of Interim Attachment made
in pursuant to EFCC Act," Oyedepo argued.
He continued that "The setting aside submission of the applicant of the Order of Your learned brother is construed by EFCC to mean that your lordship sit on an appellate of your learned brother. "
He added that the Order gotten by EFCC was to preserve the rest funds, so that the investigation of the first respondent would not be prejudiced by the conduct of the applicant aimed at dissipating the proceeds.
Oyedepo urged the court to dismiss the submission of the applicant, saying that the Interim Order obtained to stop any transaction on the frozen accounts be upheld.