Fayose’s Accounts Remain Frozen As EFCC Opposes Request For N5 Billion Damages
Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose’s accounts in Zenith Bank remain frozen till November, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) urged a Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti to reject his request for N5 billion damages over the action of the anti-graft agency.
The EFCC through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, at the resumed hearing of the suit on Friday urged the court to strike out Fayose’s further affidavit in response to its (EFCC’s) affidavit filed without leave of the court.
The agency contended that “it is visible to the blind an audible to the deaf that the applicant (Fayose) is extremely out of time and there is no extension of time to file a further affidavit.
Fayose had through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome,(SAN) urged the court to award him N5 billion damages against the EFCC for freezing his two personal bank domiciled at Zenith Bank.
Ozekhome, argued that the interim order obtained by the EFCC on June 24 and granted by Justice M.B. Idris upon which the action was based was “fundamentally irredeemably wrong.”
Fayose had sued the EFCC and Zenith Bank on the freezing of his personal bank accounts numbers: 1003126654 and 9013074033 on May 24, 2016, seeking an order to de-freeze the accounts.
The EFCC alleged that the accounts were used to launder funds from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) for the purpose of financing Fayose’s campaign in the 2014 governorship poll in Ekiti.
Ozekhome described the EFCC action of freezing or blocking Fayose’s accounts as illegal, irregular, wrongful, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.
Fayose’s counsel told the court that he had filed an originating summons dated 23rd June and filed the following day having 16-paragraph affidavit attached with Exhibit A, which is a letter from Zenith Bank freezing Fayose’s account.
Ozekhome also told the court he also filed a further and better affidavit on September 21 which he adopted.
Citing many authorities, Ozekhome argued that Fayose enjoys immunity conferred on him by Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution and that Zenith Bank was not the party prescribed to be sued by Section 34(1) of EFCC Act.
Responding, Oyedepo opposed Ozekhome’s submissions on grounds that Order 22 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court was violated by the defence counsel.
Oyedepo said coming up with such an application amounted to an ambush as the prosecution was not availed the opportunity of reacting to new issues being raised.
The EFCC lawyer insisted before the court that the decision of the anti- graft agency to freeze Fayose’s accounts followed due process.
He pleaded with the court to give him enough time to study the counter argument of Fayose’s lead counsel which was presented to the court for more than three hours.