Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has demanded N20 billion as damages from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for placing him on watch list and directing that he should be arrested if he attempted to travel out of the country.
Fayose also demanded a written apology, to be copied to all security agencies in the country and published in three national newspapers and the social media.
He is also seeking withdrawal of the request/directive to security agencies to place him on watch list.
He noted that as a sitting governor conferred with constitutional immunity against any criminal proceedings, the anti-graft agency lacks the power to place him on watch list.
Fayose’s lawyers threatened: "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."
Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said, in a statement issued yesterday, that the demands were contained in a letter by the governor’s counsel, Obafemi Adewale, dated September 3, 2018, which was received at the Abuja office of the
The letter reads in part: "By a letter dated 12th September, 2018, you instructed all security agencies in Nigeria, including but not limited to the Nigerian Customs Service, to place our client on a watch list and to arrest him at sight upon 'suspicion' that he might be attempting to flee the country.
In your exact words, we quote: ‘The under listed suspect is under investigation in connection with the above mentioned offences and there is reasonable suspicion suggesting that he may likely leave the country either through the land borders, airport, or seaport in order to invade investigation.
Hence, you are kindly requested to watch-list and arrest him.'
"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.”
The counsel said "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 of 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.”