An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has declined an ex parte order sought by the State Government to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from investigating the finances of the state.
The motion was filed by the Ekiti State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, to stop the anti-graft agency from investigating the accounts of the state government. He also sought an order stopping the arrest of the Commissioner for Finance, Accountant General and the managers of the affected banks.
The EFCC had frozen Governor Ayodele Fayose’s accounts with Zenith Bank and those of some of his associates after allegedly tracing N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to them and those of two sons of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
Justice Cornelius Akintayo ordered the applicant to put the defendants in the case on notice to prepare for their defence. He consequently adjourned the suit till August 23 when parties would be expected to appear before him to argue the motion on notice.
The defendants are the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Department of State Services, the Commissioner for Finance, Accountant General and five banks and their managers.
Dropping the hint to journalists in Ado Ekiti, a senior lawyer, Mr. Kolade Ilesanmi, who went for another matter in the same court, commended the judge for rejecting the motion.
Ilesanmi said, “Myself and another counsel, Abubakar Ajibade, who came for different matters stood up as friends of the court and commended the judge for the ruling.
“We also draw the attention of the court to a similar case before the Akwa Ibom High Court in which the judge granted a motion ex parte which has now landed him in trouble with the National Judicial Council.
“From the legal point of view, any matter involving federal institutions is usually heard by the Federal High Court save for the matters that border on fundamental rights enforcement in which both the Federal High Courts and State High Courts are seized with jurisdiction.”