Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has the right to investigate and prosecute the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, even as a sitting governor.Falana quoted judicial precedents and legal instruments, which he said, justified the decision of the anti-graft commission to investigate and freeze Fayose’s bank accounts.
The human rights lawyer in a statement on Wednesday said Fayose could not rely on section 308 of the 1999 Constitution to escape criminal act.
He said the immunity clause did not come to play in criminal investigation of a sitting governor or a sitting president.
According to Falana, Fayose’s diverse criminal antecedents ranged from the looting of N1.2 billion from the state’s treasury in 2004 to alleged involvement in the murder of Tunde Omojola and the 2014 Ekiti governorship election rigging.
He said that the EFCC was currently being investigated in connection “to a coup, which led to the re-election of Fayose” in the Ekiti State governorship held on June 21, 2014.
Falana added that in view of the fact that the effect of section 308 of the 1999 Constitution had been watered down, Fayose could not invoke the immunity clause to shield himself from investigation.”
“While not challenging the allegation by the EFCC that the sum of N1.3 billion has been traced to his personal account, Mr. Fayose has attempted to hide under the immunity clause to shield himself from investigation. Contrary to the governor’s claim he does not enjoy immunity from investigation with respect to his criminal involvement in treasonable conduct and corrupt practices.
“It is trite law that all the public officers protected by Section 308 of the Constitution can be investigated for corruption and other criminal offences.
Notwithstanding that the allegation is completely baseless, I fully support the investigations. I do not need to instigate the anti-graft agencies to enquire into the activities of a serial treasury looter.
“Having admitted his involvement in the coup which occurred in Ekiti State which culminated in his emergence as the Ekiti State governor, Fayose ought to be prosecuted for treason which arose from the electoral malfeasance,” he said.