Members of the National Assembly caucus in both the Senate and House of Representatives from Ekiti State have told the federal government to stop harassing the State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and face governance, especially the dwindling economy and insecurity in the country.
The caucus, which condemned the freezing of the bank accounts of the governor and harassment of members of the State House of Assembly, maintained that it was absolutely illegal, and an affront on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for bank accounts of any Nigerian to be blocked by the EFCC without court order not to talk of a sitting governor that enjoyed absolute immunity.
In a release issued on Thursday by the caucus and signed by the Senate Deputy Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi, they observed that it was becoming worrisome that democracy was being endangered by the persistent harassment of opposition figures by the APC led federal government.
They said; “It is trite that the condition precedent to be fulfilled by the EFCC to fully exercise its powers as enshrined in section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act, with effect to the freezing order on banks and other financial Institutions was not met. Ditto for the fact that for the court to make such an order, there must be papers (Court Process) filed in court and signed by a Judge.
“By the provision of section 308 (1) (a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), no suit can be instituted against any sitting Governor in any court in Nigeria. Therefore, no process of the court can be issued, signed or served against Mr. Ayodele Fayose, being a sitting Governor. Knowing fully well that the import of section 308 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), is principally to avert unnecessary distraction of any sitting governor and other beneficiaries of that section.
“As much as we are not against the anti–corruption crusade of the government or the investigation of corruption persons by the EFCC, we urge the anti-corruption agency to carry out its functions without political interference from any quarters, while the Federal government on its part, must eschew all actions capable of destabilizing the peace of any state, or threaten our nascent democracy.”
The National Assembly caucus, which declared support for the governor, said; “We remain resolute in our support for our governor, Ayodele Fayose and we are confident that he is not a man that can be intimidated by anyone.
“His concern is the sustenance of rule of law and good governance and he will never shy away from raising his voice in support of the masses.”