Despite having being investigating cases of corruption against Ex-Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, for two years now, an unnamed judge of the Federal Capital High Court, Abuja has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), permission to keep the former Governor for two weeks, the Punch has confirmed.
The remand order is reportedly subject to renewal which means that Fayose could spend longer than two weeks in custody.
It further implies that he could also be held indefinitely, so long as the remand order is renewed.
“We have obtained a court order to hold Fayose for at least two weeks pending investigation. He could be released earlier or later than two weeks depending on the outcome of investigation,” a source told the newspaper.
Mr. Fayose is under probe for allegedly receiving N1.3bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser through a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, during the build-up to the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
But sources within the commission have now said that Fayose is also under probe for allegedly receiving kickbacks from government contractors through his aide, Abiodun Agbele.
Mr. Agbele is currently standing trial for fraud, which goes to suggest thatinvestigations ought to have been completed.
Be that as it may, one of the lawyer to Fayose, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has told the Punchthat if the EFCC failed to release the former governor on Thursday (today), the commission would be sued for breaching Fayose’s fundamental human rights.
According to him, the anti-graft agency began investigating Fayose over two years ago and that he wondered why the agency would decide to hold him for over 24 hours.
The EFCCC could not force Fayose to write any statement as he reserved the right to remain silent and any move to obtain a remand order would amount to illegality because the Supreme Court had made that clear, he said..
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria added that since Fayose’s accounts had been frozen and his properties seized by the commission, there was nothing for the ex-governor to tell the EFCC since the matter was already in court.
Ozekhome said, “His lawyers will consider approaching the court for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights if he is not released on Thursday. Section 35 and 36 of the constitution are clear on this.
“He is not a flight risk. He willingly submitted himself to the EFCC even earlier than the time he was supposed to come. What the EFCC is doing is nothing but media trial.
“From the way they have been chasing Fayose in the last three years, one would have expected that the EFCC would have completed its investigations and would arrest him immediately his tenure expires and charge him the next day but that is not the case.
“They want him to write a statement by force and then use the statement against him instead of using their own evidence.”