However, to get it right, I adopted an enquiry method of looking into the matter by setting out the issues involve thus:
1. Whether having regard to the provision of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which forbids any civil or criminal proceedings to be commenced against a sitting Governor, the freezing of Fayose’s personal account by the EFCC is Constitutional.
2. Whether a sitting Governor in Nigeria, covered by Section 308 can be investigated.
For the purpose of our understanding, I will answer the first and the second questions on the affirmative. The following short and snappy reasons will shade more light.
With respect to whether the action of the EFCC is constitutional, the answer is capital Yes! This is because the Constitution talks about commencing or instituting a criminal or civil proceedings against the President or a Governor. The question then is when is a civil matter or criminal case is said to have commenced? Both commenced only when the processes are filed in court against the Accused or the Defendant. The second question is can a mere freezing of Fayose’s personal account be said to have amounted to commencing a criminal or civil proceedings against him. Legally, the answer is capital NO and so the EFCC has acted within the confines of the law.
Regarding the second question, it is already determined by the Supreme Court in Gani Fawehinmi Vs Tinubu that a sitting Governor can be investigated but cannot be prosecuted. See also the case of
Gani Fawehemi vs Inspector General of Police (2002) 23 WRN 1. The supreme court held. any person who is protected by sec. 308 of the 1999
constitution as amended & had been charged (suspected)for Criminal offence is liable to be investigated!
Allow EFCC to do their job. Thank you.