The governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has hit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with a N20 billion lawsuit for putting him on a watchlist.
The financial watchdog is reported to have advised the key security agencies demanding that Fayose is remanded anytime he attempts to leave the country via land, sea and air borders to escape justice.
This is what informed the decision of Fayose to threaten to sue the EFCC if it persists with the advisory without any withdrawal within 72 hours, saying the action “not only breached his constitutional immunity, it also exposed him to public ridicule”.
He further demanded a written apology to be published in three national newspapers and social media.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1087/2018, Fayose is seeking, among other things, an order of the Court authorizing the body to pay the sum of N20 billion as general damages for what he called “flagrant, deliberate, premeditated and reckless libel and unprovoked attack on his character and reputation and the breach of his constitutional right/immunity as an incumbent Governor”.
The governor also wants a declaration that all the statements contained in the EFCC letter dated September 12, 2018 – and addressed to all security agencies in Nigeria, portraying him as a criminal, a fugitive and a runaway from the law – are entirely false and malicious.
Fayose wants the court to further declare “that the EFCC letter placing him on watchlist and directing his arrest on sight, even while a sitting Governor, is unconstitutional as same offends the clear provision of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which clothes him with immunity against arrest and prosecution as an incumbent Governor.
“That the tweet by the Defendant (EFCC) through its official Twitter handle, which was widely circulated through social media and published on Punch Newspaper (online) of 16th July 2018, with the particulars wordings pleaded in the Statement of Claim filed along with this Writ is not true, is malicious, is not a fair statement and presents the Plaintiff as a fraudster thereby ridiculing him and reducing him in the eyes of reasonable and right-thinking members of the society”.