A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja headed by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba , has okay the seizure of properties belonging to the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose adding that the action did not violate the provisions of section 308 of the Constitution which confers immunity from civil and criminal proceedings on the governor.
The Court had on July 20, 2016, authorised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize some properties of the Governor pending the completion of an ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, Fayose through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), asked the court to set aside the interim forfeiture orders on 10 grounds including a violation of his immunity.
While delivering his ruling on Tuesday after the hearing of the application, Justice Dimgba declared that the Fayose’s immunity wasn’t violated but reiterated that the order of interim forfeiture made on July 20 had a lifespan of 45 days from the date it was issued.
“It is my considered opinion that the order of court, made on July 20, 2016 in respect of some property of the applicant, and within the limited scope and duration within which it was obtained, was duly procured and does not offend the provision of the Constitution referred to,” the judge ruled.
“Although Section 308 of the Constitution serves to isolate governors of states from the distraction of litigation and legal proceedings, to enable them to attend to official responsibilities, it should not be interpreted in such a way as to defeat the fight against corruption, to mean that the EFCC or other investigating agencies cannot take a peep into the assets or personal accounts of a serving governor in the execution of a strictly worded and mutually supervised interim attachment orders for the purposes of obtaining evidence for use in future when the immunity has lapsed.”