Ekiti State House of Assembly has threatened to initiate contempt
proceedings against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu over the arrest and detention of
the State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and the Accountant
General, Mrs Yemi Owolabi.
It described the EFCC arrest of Ojo and Owolabi as premeditated,
malicious, politically motivated, contemptuous and unconstitutional in
all ramifications and that it smacked of gangsterism by an agency that
derives its power from the constitution but acts in clear contempt of
the rule of law.
“It is in view of this that we demand the immediate release of the
Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and the State Accountant
General, Mrs Yemisi Owolabi,” the House said.
The House of Assembly, in its letter dated October 2, 2017 and signed
by the Speaker, Hon Kolawole Oluwawole, which was delivered at the
EFCC’s Abuja office today (Tuesday), said there was a subsisting order
of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti granted on November 7, 2016, in
the case of Attorney General of Ekiti State Vs EFCC, IGP, Ekiti State
House of Assembly and 15 others.
The letter delivered by the Chairman of the House Committee on
Information; Hon (Dr) Samuel Omotoso, Hon Sina Animasaun and Dayo
Akinleye read; “The court granted an Order of Interim Injunction
restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants (EFCC and the Inspector General
of Police, their agents, privies or any other investigative agencies,
however described) from arresting, detaining or investigating any
person or persons, whether past or present officials in the Ekiti
State Government, without any report of indictment from the Ekiti
State House of Assembly pending the hearing and determination of the
Motion on Notice filed in this suit.
“It also granted an Order of Interim Injunction restraining the 3rd –
7th defendants (Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, the
House of Assembly, Clerk of the Ekiti State House of Assembly,
Accountant General and Auditor General
of Ekiti State) by themselves or by their servants , agents, and
privies from surrendering their constitutional assigned roles,
including power of control over the public funds of Ekiti State, the
duty to direct or cause to be directed the investigation or the
disbursement and administration of money appropriated or to be
appropriated under any appropriated bill passed by the House of
Assembly or as enabled under constitution, pending the determination
of the Motion on Notice already filed in this suit.
“The consequential effects of the court order, which has not been
vacated by a superior court, is that the Ekiti State House of
Assembly, being the only institution vested with the powers to
appropriate fund for the State Government and enforces the judicious
use of such, through its Public Account Committee must first carry out
its function of investigating the use of fund appropriated for the
State Government and report of indictment made.
“In this instance case, the Ekiti State House of Assembly did not
report any indictment against the Commissioner for Finance, Chief
Toyin Ojo and the Accountant General, Mrs Yemi Owolabi to the EFCC.
“Therefore, the EFCC acted in violation of a valid and subsisting
court order by arresting and detaining since Thursday, September 28,
2017, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and
Accountant General, Mrs Yemi Owolabi.”
Describing the EFCC as partisan, the House said; “Despite the petition
against former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi and others
dated November 24, 2016 and submitted to the EFCC by the Ekiti State
House of Assembly; you have declined to invite any of those that we
“Instead of acting on our petition, your commission opted to turn
itself into an agent of harassment and intimidation against the
Government of Ekiti State, acting on every frivolous petition.”
The House of Assembly vowed that it will not surrender its
Constitutional responsibilities to EFCC or any agency of the Federal
Government under any guise.
“Democracy is about respect for the rule of law and the EFCC, being an
agency of the federal government established by an Act of the National
Assembly cannot and must not act against the Constitution of Nigeria
by usurping the powers of the State House of Assembly, and we view
strongly the continuous display of impunity by the commission.
“We therefore wish to put you on notice that should you fail to desist
from further disobedience to the court order mention above by
continuous infraction against the people and the government of Ekiti
State, contempt proceeding will be initiated against you without
delay,” it said.