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20 Jun 2017

EFCC ‘awaiting briefing’ on Fayose’s bank account ruling

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said it would await the briefing of its counsel on the dismissal of its application against the unfreezing of Governor Ayo Fayose’s bank account.
The Court of Appeal in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday dismissed an interlocutory application brought by the commission, seeking to upturn the unfreezing of Ayo Fayose’s account with Zenith Bank.
The account was last year June frozen on the orders of the EFCC on the grounds that it contained N2.999billion linked to the $3.2billion allegedly distributed fraudulent by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The commission had prayed the court to grant a stay of execution of the judgement of the lower court, which in December last year ordered the de-freezing of the accounts.
It also filed an appeal against the judgement, urging that since the money was the proceed of crime, the court should freeze the account pending the dispensation of justice on the matter to prove Fayose’s innocence
However, on Tuesday, the appeal court panel comprising Justices Ahmed Belgore, Fatima Akinbami and Paul Elechi, in a unanimous verdict, dismissed the application.
“No valid appeal has been made against the judgement of the lower court which unfreeze the account. Against the judgement the EFCC was appealing against was not attached to this application,” the judgment read by Ms. Akinbami stated.
“EFCC also failed to show sufficient evidence that the money in the account was a proceed of crime as claimed. In doing this, we expect the EFCC to have showed evidence that the plaintiff has been tried for criminal offence before for it to assume that he can receive proceed of crime
“We also found that there was suppression of facts to get the account frozen in the first instance. It was also noted that Governor Fayose in line with Section 308 enjoys immunity and his personal account can’t be frozen.
“Having not done all these as demanded by law and equity, as those facts were facts that would assist in exercising the court’s discretion either for or against as it is an application that is predicated on discretion of the court, the application is hereby thrown out.”
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Ewujare, told PREMIUM TIMES that the commission was yet to get a full briefing from its counsel on the case.
“I have not seen the judgment,” he said. “We are yet to get a briefing from our counsel, and so we can say anything until we got a briefing from our counsel.”

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