17 November 2006

Nigeria: Fayose - 'EFCC's Declaration, Contempt of Court'

Abuja — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been petitioned over its recent declaration of suspended Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Ayodele Fayose, as a wanted man.

In the petition addressed to the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Attorney to the embattled Fayose, Chief Alex Izinyon, (SAN) said the electronic advertisement and newspaper publications declaring his client wanted was a contravention to a valid subsisting court order and should be withdrawn until the court order was vacated.

According to Izinyon, a suit brought case against the Ekiti State House Of Assembly, the State Security Service (SSS), Inspector General of Police, Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the wake of the controversial impeachment was still pending at a Federal High Court in Akure and needed to be dispensed with before any further action could be taken against Fayose.

Izinyon recalled that on 20th October 2006 the court granted an interim order restraining the commission and other defendants in the suit from arresting, detaining or prosecuting Fayose pending the determination of the motion on notice.

"You are aware that there is no pending application for discharge of the interim order to make the invocation of Order 9 Rule 12 (1) (2) of the Federal High Court Rules imperative and applicable by operation of the law. Therefore as it stands today there is a valid and subsisting order of court against your commission and your commission is duty bound to obey that order. The advertisement carried on 13th and 14th of November 2006 in both electronic and print= media respectively no doubt is an affront, naked and brazen violation of the Federal High Court, Akure, and "Izinyon said

Describing the development as sad and unfortunate in a democratic setting such as this, Izinyon reminded the Commission of the need to allow the rule of law take its pride of place in Nigeria. According to him, the time had come for all to join hands in enthroning the rule of law by ensuring that every citizen and every government institution obeyed court orders.

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