A Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Monday fixed December 2 for judgment in a suit filed by Governor Ayodele Fayose against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the date after the parties adopted their written addresses in the suit.
The commission had frozen Fayose’s accounts and that of some of his associates after allegedly tracing N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser to them and those of the two sons of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
The governor, a strong critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, had gone to a branch of the bank located on Bank/Secretariat Road on June 20 for transactions when he discovered that his account had been frozen.
Fayose through his lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had approached the court through an ex parte order seeking a mandatory order de-freezing the accounts but the court ordered that the respondents be placed on notice.
Relying on point of law on Monday, Ozekhome prayed the court to de-freeze Fayose’s accounts because the EFCC allegedly suppressed the fact while attempting to obtain an ex parte order freezing the accounts from Justice Idris of the Lagos Federal High Court on June 24.
Ozekhome argued that the EFCC did not bring it to the attention of the court that the owner of the accounts presented for freezing was a sitting governor, who enjoyed immunity from criminal proceedings by virtue of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.
Justifying the freezing of the account, the EFCC’s lead counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, argued that what the anti-graft agency had done in freezing the governor’s accounts was “merely to preserve the rest of the money in the account so that the first respondent (EFCC) will not be prejudiced by the conduct of the applicant (Fayose) ‘allegedly’ aimed at dissipating the proceeds.
“By the provision of sub-section 5 of the EFCC Act, the first respondent (EFCC) or any of its representative, such as the investigative officer has the power to instruct the second respondent (Zenith Bank) to place a stop order on the account.”