Members of the National Assembly caucus in both the Senate and House of Representatives from Ekiti State have cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against allowing itself to be used to intimidate or harass Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State by the Federal Government.
The caucus unequivocally condemned the freezing of the bank accounts belonging to Fayose by the EFCC, describing it as absolutely illegal and an affront to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The release issued on Sunday and signed on behalf of the caucus by the Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi, reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the freezing of the bank accounts belonging to Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose by the EFCC and we wish to state that the actions violates the constitution of Nigeria, which conferred immunity on the governor and the EFCC Act, which mandates the Commission to obtain a valid court order before bank accounts of anyone can be frozen.
“It is trite that the condition precedent to be fulfilled by the EFCC to fully exercise its powers as enshrined in section 34(1) of the EFCC Act, with effect to the freezing order on banks and other financial Institutions was not met. Ditto for the fact that for the court to make such an order, there must be papers (Court Process) filed in court and signed by a Judge.
“By the provision of section 308(1) (a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), no suit can be instituted against any sitting Governor in any court in Nigeria. Therefore, no process of the court can be issued, signed or served against Mr. Ayodele Fayose, being a sitting Governor. Knowing fully well that the import of section 308 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), is principally to avert unnecessary distraction of any sitting governor and other beneficiaries of that section.
“As much as we are not against the anti-corruption crusade of the government or the investigation of corruption persons by the EFCC, we urge the anti-corruption agency to carry out its functions without political interference from any quarters, while the Federal government on its part, must eschew all actions capable of destabilizing the peace of any state, or threaten our nascent democracy.”