By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly have threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
Specifically, they are up in arms against the anti-graft agency boss over the arrest and detention of the state Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and the Accountant General, Mrs. Yemi Owolabi.
At plenary on Tuesday, they described the EFCC arrest as premeditated, malicious, politically motivated, contemptuous and unconstitutional in all ramifications.
In a letter to the EFCC boss on Tuesday, they added that “It is in view of this that we demand the immediate release of the Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and the State Accountant General, Mrs Yemisi Owolabi.”
In the letter signed by the Speaker, Hon Kolawole Oluwawole, they said there was a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti granted on November 7, 2016, in the case of Attorney General of Ekiti State Vs EFCC, IGP, Ekiti State House of Assembly and 15 others.
The letter reads, “The court granted an Order of Interim Injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants (EFCC and the Inspector General of Police, their agents, privies or any other investigative agencies, however described) from arresting, detaining or investigating any person or persons, whether past or present officials in the Ekiti State Government, without any report of indictment from the Ekiti State House of Assembly pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed in this suit.
Describing the EFCC as partisan, the House said; “Despite the petition against former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi and others dated November 24, 2016 and submitted to the EFCC by the Ekiti State House of Assembly; you have declined to invite any of those that we complained against.
“Instead of acting on our petition, your commission opted to turn itself into an agent of harassment and intimidation against the Government of Ekiti State, acting on every frivolous petition.”
The House of Assembly vowed that it will not surrender its Constitutional responsibilities to EFCC or any agency of the Federal Government under any guise.
“Democracy is about respect for the rule of law and the EFCC, being an agency of the federal government established by an Act of the National Assembly cannot and must not act against the Constitution of Nigeria by usurping the powers of the State House of Assembly, and we view strongly the continuous display of impunity by the commission.
“We therefore wish to put you on notice that should you fail to desist from further disobedience to the court order mention above by continuous infraction against the people and the government of Ekiti State, contempt proceeding will be initiated against you without delay,” it said.