Constitutional Lawyer and former National Secretary of Labour Party, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, on Tuesday, described as “illegal” the freezing of Governor Ayodele Fayose’s account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Ibrahim Magu According to Ajulo, EFCC’s action was an abuse of the immunity that covers governors in Nigeria. Ajulo in a statement said he received the news with shock, arguing that, EFCC has no legal ground to freeze Fayose’s account.
The statement read: “This indeed came as a shock considering the personality involved, a sitting governor that enjoys immunity till the determination of his office as governor of a State in Nigeria. “It is the law that to freeze an account, there must be an order of court for the attachment of the bank account. It is also trite that for the court to make such order, there must be papers (court process) filed in court and signed by the judge.” He further said: “By the provision of Section 308(1)(a) of our Constitution as amended no suit can be instituted against Ayodele Fayose and/or any Nigerian governor in any court in Nigeria. “Therefore, no process of court can be issued, signed or served, against Ayodele Fayose in his personal capacity, whereas the bank account in question is his personal account as such in his personal name. “Moreover, sections 26-34 of the EFCC Act, established a process to be followed that is, a suspect must have been arrested for his account to be frozen however section 308 of 1999 Constitution, exempted Ayodele Fayose from those could be arrested and his bank account cannot be frozen.
It behoves on all right thinking Nigerians and law abiding individuals and corporate entities to ensure and insist that EFCC acts according to the law of the land and adheres to best international standard and practice. The constitutional lawyer warned, “It should be warned that EFCC is gradually turning into an unchecked tyrannical monster. If indeed Ayodele Fayose has a case to answer, the case of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Vs. Gani Fawehinmi is apt and locus classicus; Therefore, EFCC should lift the attachment on Ayodele Fayose’s property, go ahead to investigate him but wait for Fayose to complete his term of office before commencing his prosecution. That’s the law and it must be followed.”