Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, this Tuesday, sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Zenith Bank Plc at a federal high court in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, challenging the freezing of his personal bank account.
The court ordered that the EFCC and Zenith Bank should appear before it on July 4 to show cause why it should not grant Fayose’s request that the freeze on his account be lifted.
The EFCC had alleged that the accounts were used in receiving about N4.7 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). The anti-graft agency said its investigation traced the fund to part of that used for the prosecution of the election that produced Fayose as governor in 2014.
The governor has, however, insisted that his election campaign was funded directly by Zenith Bank, and not the office of the NSA.
The governor is being represented by Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
Following public uproar over the freezing of Fayose’s bank account when he has immunity as a sitting governor, the EFCC defended its action, insisting that it has powers to investigate suspicious movements of cash in the country even if it involves a person enjoying immunity.
The commission said that immunity does not prevent investigation even if it prevents prosecution.
“Immunity does not prevent us from investigating suspicious accounts of those enjoying immunity and Fayose cannot be an exception,” EFCC had declared.
However, the EFCC will have to prove to the court that its action to freeze the bank account does not imply punishment. Denying the governor access to his account with Zenith Bank signifies punishment on the assumption of guilt.