“I’m not closing the accounts, but if they (the Economic and Financial Crime Commission) attack my accounts again, I will make trouble with them; big trouble.”
Governor Ayodele Fayose made this assertion today, Thursday after he withdrew N5 million from his account at the Ado-Ekiti branch of Zenith Bank Plc following an Ado Ekiti High Court judgment which ordered the EFCC to unfreeze his accounts.
Governor had stormed the premises of the bank and presented a cheque to withdraw N5 million, reminding the bank manager of the court order.
The governor, who later got his money after waiting for almost two hours said: “the rascality of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission must stop. And I want to thank the EFCC for obeying the court order.
“They placed order on two accounts, one has N82 million, the other has N300 million.
“I have collected N5 million now.
“If EFCC is appealing the court judgment, that is their funeral. As a sitting governor, my immunity is absolute just like that of the President. They should tell EFCC to shut up.
“There is no authority other than the authority of the constitution of this country, which I enjoy.
“Rubbishing the office of the governor is as the same as rubbishing that of the President because after the President, Governors are the next. It is their time now, another people’s time will come tomorrow. There is no place for dictatorship in Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that Fayose’s two accounts with the bank was on June 20 frozen on the orders of the EFCC through an exparte order received from Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos on the allegation that the money there in were “proceeds of crime.”
Fayose had, on June 28, challenged the seizure of the accounts in court through an affidavit sworn to by his lawyer, Barrister Bimpe Olatemiju, who prayed the court to order an unfreezing of the governor’s accounts as the EFCC’s action negates the provisions of section 308 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 amended.
The lead legal counsel to Fayose, Chief Mike Ozekhome, had also fought the legal battle with EFCC’s legal counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, for seven months, after which victory came the way of Fayose on December 13 when Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti ordered that Fayose’s accounts be unfrozen with immediate effect.
Taiwo held that the freezing of the said accounts by the EFCC was illegal and violates the provisions of section 308 of the constitution, which confers absolute immunity on the governor as a serving state executive who cannot be tried for any civil or criminal allegations. [myad]