A legal practitioner, Barrister Lawrence Anyia, has said that Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose can be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but cannot be prosecuted.
Anyia said the act that established the EFCC gave the commission powers to investigate and froze the account of public office holders that enjoys immunity, except that they cannot be prosecuted until after the expiration of their tenure in office.
Interacting with our correspondent in Jos, Barr. Anyia said that EFCC, by the powers enabling its operation can investigate Fayose but cannot press criminal proceedings against him, because of the immunity clause as stipulated by section 308 of the Nigeria constitution.
According to him, “in the process of investigation, the EFCC is enabled by the act, to obtain an ex-parte court order to freeze the bank account of the said public office holder irrespective of his immunity, for the purposes of preserving the money, pending the conclusion of the investigation”, he said.
He said the immunity only stops the EFCC from filling criminal proceedings against Gov. Fayose, as interpreted by section 308 of the Nigeria’s constitution, which interprets thus, “no criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the person holding the office of the President, the Vice President, the Governor and the Deputy Governor.”
He, however, did not dismiss the insinuation that Fayose is being witch hunted because of his vocal nature, saying that the President Buhari engineered fight against corruption is only out to fight those in the opposition.
In the case of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Barr. Anyia wondered if the allegation against them is correct, explaining that their emergence as principal officers was frowned by the presidency from onset.