An Abuja Federal High Court yesterday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to de-freeze all properties belonging to Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, that were earlier confiscated based on the order of the court made on July 20 and August 2.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the order while ruling on application filed by Governor Fayose through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
Ruling on the application which was argued yesterday, Justice Dimgba noted that the interim orders which were made on July 20 and reaffirmed on August, were made to last for 45 days to enable the anti-graft agency carry out its investigations.
Justice Dimgba added that the orders ought to have elapsed since on September 3 but that from the court’s record no application was filed by the EFCC to extend the order.
“I hold that in the absence of an application to renew it, the interim attachment orders had elapsed on September 3, consequently, all the attachments, seizure, forfeitures and occupation of the said properties and accounts are nullity.”
He said it would be a different matter if the EFCC still occupy the properties based on order of other jurisdiction.
Justice Dimgba blamed EFCC, which obtained a similar order from Justice Okon Abang, for not telling the Judge that it had obtained an order that elapsed on September 3, when it approached this court on November 3.”I did not agree with EFCC that Fayose’s motion is an academic exercise”, he added.
A Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti had last week also ordered the anti-graft agency to unfreeze all blocked accounts belonging to Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
The presiding judge, Taiwo Taiwo, argued that the decision of the commission to freeze the account, without considering first the arguments or opinion of Mr. Fayose on the matter, amounted to abuse of the defendant’s fundamental rights to fair hearing.
He also argued that the defendant was a sitting governor who enjoys immunity as enshrined by the constitution and that the decision of the EFCC to have acted as it did, amounted to a breach of the constitution