Ayo Fayose, the Ekiti state governor, told a high court on Friday, September 30 2016 that he has been subjected to psychological and emotional torture as a result of the freezing of his two Zenith bank accounts in June by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The counsel to Mr. Fayose, Mike Ozekhome, told the court that the freezing of the accounts in the last four months is an abuse of the principle of ex parte order.
“This is because as you can see, my client has been unjustly subjected to both psychological and mental torture, as if to say judgment must come before trial,’’ he said.
Ozekhome demanded that a sum of N5 billion be paid by the EFCC to the governor as aggravated damages and also for the court to vacate an earlier order of a similar court empowering the EFCC to block Fayose’s account.
He also told the court that the EFCC lacked the constitutional powers to apply punitive measures on a governor that still enjoyed immunity until the end of his tenure in 2018. He argued that the freezing of the governor’s accounts based on mere hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations of fraud lacked the backing of the law.
“Blocking the governor’s accounts without being found guilty by a court amounted to convicting the governor before putting him on trial” Ozekhome said
Moreover, EFCC lead counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, insisted that the decision of the anti-graft agency to freeze Fayose’s accounts followed due process.
Oyedepo pleaded with the court to give him enough time to study the counter argument of Fayose’s lead counsel which was presented to the court for more than three hours.
The court adjourned the suit to November 7, 2016, during which time the accounts will remain frozen.