From: GODWIN TSA, Abuja
Reprieve came the way of Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose as a Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to remove the seal placed on all the property belonging to him that were attached based on the order it made on July 20 and August 2, 2016.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the order while ruling on application moved by counsel to Gov Fayose, Chief Mike Ozekheme (SAN) .
He brought the application after the EFCC had seized his properties.
Ruling on the application which was argued yesterday, Justice Dimgba noted that the interim orders which were made on
July 20 and re-affirmed on August were made to last for 45days to enable EFCC carry out its investigations.
Justice Dimgba held, “I have checked through the record of the court. I do not see any application by EFCC to renew the order of interim attachment, and neither was any such motion for renewal served on the applicant (Fayose). All of these were considered in the various processes beforee the court by the parties. Therefore, in the absence of any application for renewal of the order of 20/07/16 in terms of the tenor of the court order of 20/07/16 and affirmed on 02/08/16, I hold that this order lapsed and abated on 04/09/16 and no further legal or practical effect can be derived from that order.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC is not entitled to take any step or derive any benefit from that order and any such benefit derived or enjoy upon the order of 20/07/16 with effect from 04/09/16 when the. Order lapsedd is of no effect and therefore stand nullified.
“This include any sealing occupation, possessions of the property subject of that order. Therefore, to the extent that any sealing, possession and occupation of the asset/properties set out in the schedule to the application are on the basis of the order of 20/07/16, my view is that this will amount to an activity that has. No legal basis given that the order of court that birthed it has seized to have effect.
“On that basis therefore, to the extent of prayer 1 in the motion paper for the unsealing and vacation of the property listed in the face of the order of 20/07/16 is hinged on the order of 20/07/16. And affirmed on 02/08/16, I see no harm in granting same on terms and this prayer, therefore, is hereby granted”.