Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has filed a N20 billion lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for placing him on a watchlist.
The Commission is alleged to have written an advisory to key security agencies demanding that Fayose be arrested if he attempts to flee the country through land, sea and air borders to escape justice.
Following the action, Fayose threatened to sue the EFCC if it fails to withdraw the advisory within 72 hours, saying the action “not only breached his constitutional immunity, it also exposed him to public opium and 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 mandating the EFCC 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 is also seeking a declaration that 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 not true, are malicious, are not fair statements.
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 the 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.”