Why We Sealed Fayose`s' Houses - EFCC
Sequel to the failure of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to comply with a court order on the interim forfeiture of his assets earlier obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the anti-graft agency on Wednesday September 29, 2010 sealed two houses belonging to the former governor in choice areas of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
The properties which are located at 1, Fagbohun Street, GRA Iyaganku and another near Court of Appeal, GRA Ibadan had to be sealed to give effect to the court order after it was discovered that the former governor had defied the subsisting court order and the houses criminally broken into and occupied.
The EFCC had on July 27, 2006 obtained a court order on the interim forfeiture of asset and properties belonging to Fayose after he was discovered to have engaged in fraudulent activities and money laundering when he held sway as governor of Ekiti State. He was subsequently arraigned by the Commission on a 51 count charge in a Federal High Court, Lagos for alleged money laundering, illegal diversion and misappropriation of the sum of N1.2 billion.
The presiding judge, Justice Tijani Abubakar had ordered then that an interim forfeiture be placed on the former governor's property pending the determination of the case. EFCC subsequently executed the order of the court by placing the former governor's property under seal. However, without vacating the court order, the former governor and his family returned to the properties in defiance of the subsisting order hence, the Commission's decision to re-seal the property. Part of the court order reads: 'An order of interim forfeiture of the asset and properties listed in the schedule set out below and attached to this motion as Exhibit EFCC4 which the application is satisfied are the proceeds and disbursement arising out of financial crimes pending the hearing and determination of the charge No FHC/179C/2006…'
Ayodele Fayose was first arraigned by the EFCC on December 17, 2006 but was later granted bail by the court. Though he took his plea, he has since been filing frivolous applications in his attempt to prolong and delay trial. In one of such instances on March 17, 2008 when the matter came up for hearing, proceedings were stalled due to the absence of the former governor in court as he was reported ill. Earlier this year, the governor challenged the jurisdiction of the court on his trial in Lagos; the case has now been transferred to Ekiti Federal High Court.