The Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti Division on Tuesday threw out the Stay of Execution of Judgment Application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the judgment given by a Federal High Court over the freezing of two accounts kept by the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, with Zenith Bank Plc.
In an unanimous judgment read by Justice F.A. Akinbami, the three-man panel held that the application filed by the EFCC lacked merit.
The other members of the panel were Justices A.O. Belgore and P.O. Elechi.
According to the justices, the EFCC suppressed some facts in its application presented before the court.
The court said the EFCC had no valid appeal of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ordering the body to defreeze Fayose’s accounts before the appellate court.
The court also said it was not in the purview of the EFCC to determine what is a proceed of crime, holding that it is a court of competent jurisdiction that can determine that.
Furthermore, the court said the anti-graft agency failed to disclose some material facts, especially that it had earlier filed a similar application before the lower court which was dismissed.
The court added that the EFCC also failed to disclose that Fayose is a sitting governor who enjoys constitutional immunity.
Having not done all these, the Court of Appeal held that the hands of the EFCC were not clean as required by law and equity, as those facts were facts that would assist in exercising the court’s discretion either for or against as it was an application that was predicated on the discretion of the court.
The lead counsel to Fayose, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) described the judgment as sound and a confirmation that the judiciary would remain the hope of the common man.
Recall that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti had earlier described the freezing of Fayose’s accounts as illegal and unconstitutional.
He ordered the EFCC to defreeze the accounts, but the body only complied with the decision briefly before denying the governor access to his accounts again.
Thursday, September 20 2018, 3:24 pm