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Appeal court freezes Fayose’s Zenith Bank accounts, nullifies governor’s victory at High Court

A Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti had on
December, 13, 2016, unblocked the
governor’s two accounts domiciled with
Zenith Bank
- But the appellate court on Thursday, April
19, upturned the High Court's judgement
The Court of Appeal has frozen the two
accounts of Ekiti state Governor Ayo
Fayose domiciled with the Zenith Bank
after a relief of one year and four
months.
The Nation reports that appellate court
in a judgment on Thursday, April 19,
ordered that the two accounts be frozen
having been convinced by the argument
of the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) that they are used to
keep proceeds of crime.
NAIJ.com gathered that the three-man
panel led by Justice Joseph Shagbaor
Ikyegh allowed the appeal of the EFCC
and upturned the judgment of the
Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti.
Other members of the panel are Justice
Boloukurumo Moses Ugo and Justice
Mohammed Mustapha in the appeal
marked CA/EK/8C/2017.
The judgment of the lower court
delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on
December, 13, 2016, which unblocked
the governor’s two accounts domiciled
with Zenith Bank.
Fayose withdrew N5 million from one of
the accounts immediately and
transferred the sum of N75 to his
lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN). It
was unblocked by the Federal High
Court order.
Dissatisfied with the Ado-Ekiti Federal
High Court verdict, the EFCC filed an
appeal at the appellate court on three
grounds.
The two accounts had earlier been
frozen by Justice Mohammed Shuaibu of
Federal High Court, Lagos in an ex-
parte motion brought by the EFCC which
it was consequent upon investigations
that the accounts were being used to
keep proceeds of crime.
On Monday, the EFCC had filed an
application before the court to adduce
fresh evidence but the court turned
down the motion.
The briefs of the parties in the appeal,
the EFCC (the appellant) and Fayose (1st
Respondent) and Zenith Bank (2nd
Respondent) were adopted with the
court adjourning to Thursday for
judgment.
The EFCC in its brief argued that Fayose
is a citizen of Nigeria and his accounts
could be frozen if they are found to be
used to hold proceeds of crime.
The anti-graft agency contended that
the immunity enjoyed by the governor
does not preclude his account from
being frozen.
The Appeal Court allowed the appeal
and held that Fayose’s accounts which
were unblocked by the Federal High
Court be frozen.
The court delivered the judgment upon
reading the record of the appeal and
after hearing EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi
Oyedepo, Fayose’s counsel, Ozekhome
and Zenith Bank’s counsel, Mr.
Oluwasegun Ayinde.
Justice Ikyegh ordered: “That the appeal
is meritorious and, having resolved all
three issues agitated in the appeal in
appellant’s (EFCC’s) favour.
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“That the appeal is hereby allowed; that
the judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo
Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ekiti
Judicial Division, on the 13th day of
December, 2016 granting the claims of
the 1st Respondent in Suit No: FHC/AD/
CS/27/2016 is hereby set aside.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com gathered that the
2019 presidential ambition of Governor
Ayodele Fayose hit the rocks even
before it began as the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), under which he
hopes to achieve this feat, asked him not
to waste his time.

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