Watch list: Fayose demands N20bn damages from EFCC, threatens to go to court

Ezekiel Johnson
Ezekiel Johnson
Watch list: Fayose demands N20bn damages from EFCC, threatens to go to court

Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has demanded from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the sum of N20 billion as compensation for treating him like a criminal by putting him on watch list.

This is apart from the demand for a written apology published to all security agencies in the country and three national newspapers and social media.

He warned that if the conditions he gave were not met within 72 hours, he would take the commission to the court to seek redress.

The demands were made in a letter sent to the EFCC by Fayose’s counsel, Obafemi Adewale.

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The demands made in the letter dated October 3, 2018,  reads:   “A written apology to our Client published to all Security Agencies in Nigeria and in 3 National Newspapers and the Social Media for the flagrant mischievous and deliberate attempt to breach his constitutional rights and malign him in the eyes of right thinking members of the society.

“Payment of the sum of N20bn as damages to our Client for the flagrant, deliberate, pre-meditated and reckless libel and unprovoked attack on his character and reputation and breach of his constitutional right/immunity as an incumbent Governor.

“Take notice that unless these demands are met within 72 hours of the date of this letter, we shall not hesitate to carry out our client’s firm instruction to proceed forthwith to institute legal action against you to seek appropriate remedies before the law court without any further recourse to you.”

It would be recalled that the EFCC, in a letter dated September 12, 2018, instructed all security agencies in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Customs Service, NCC, to place Fayose on watch list and to arrest him at sight upon ‘suspicion’ that he might be attempting to flee the country.

That was against the background that he was being investigated for alleged financial malpractices.

But in his argument, Fayose, in the letter by his counsel said the action of the anti-graft body was against the provision of the constitution of the country which granted him, as a governor, immunity against being probed for criminal activities.

He said with the letter, he was treated like a common criminal, thus maligning his character.

Fayose said the commission had shown premeditated mischief, open hatred and contempt for his office as Governor.

The letter reads further: “By these words, you have not only fallen foul of the clear provision of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic which grants our Client, as an incumbent Governor, immunity from any criminal process/proceedings, you have also exposed our Client to ridicule, opprobrium, odium and hatred in the eyes and opinion of the ordinary man on the street and falsely and mischievously portrayed him as a common fugitive, a run-away from the law who could/should be arrested at sight like a dangerous criminal.

“By this act and words, particularly coming after our Client had by his letter of 10th September, 2018 duly received in your office on 11th September, 2018 voluntarily without any prompting by you or anybody else, offered to report in your office in Abuja on 16th September, 2018, the very next day after his tenure as Governor, Ekiti State would have ended and his immunity lifted, you have demonstrated premeditated mischief, open hatred for our Client and contempt for his office as Governor.”

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