By Naomi Sharang
Former Governor of Ekiti state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, who reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja on Tuesday, on the commission’s invitation, is still in its custody.
But, the commission has declined comment on the issue, preferring the media await developments on it.
Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwajeren, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that there was “nothing to report at the moment”.
“If there is anything, I will get across to you,” he said.
While reporting at the EFCC on Tuesday, Fayose had said that he was there to keep his promise to honour the commission’s invitation, and to respond to any allegation against him.
The former governor, whose tenure ended on Monday, was accompanied to the EFCC by Rivers Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
He had at the commission’s office said “I am here in line with my promise that I will be here on the 16th of October.”
A senior lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had told NAN on Thursday that the EFCC had no right to keep Fayose beyond 24 hours without charging him.
He said that it was either that the commission charged the former governor to court or free him so as not to foul the law.
According to the human rights lawyer, the EFCC has no right to keep him for over 24 hours.
He said “If they have done that by obtaining a Magistrate Court’s order that will be in the form of a holding charge, which has been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court.
“Holding charge is illegal. It is unconstitutional.’’
Ozekhome said that the section of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) permitting a magistrate to detain a suspect for 14 days was illegal.
He explained that any action outside the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution, which specifically provided for 24 hours, was illegal and unconstitutional.
He said that the ACJA allowed for detention of a suspect for 14 days, but that Section 35 of the Constitution made it clear that a person could only be detained for 24 hours.
“So, when there is a clash between the statute, like the ACJA, and the Constitution, the Constitution prevails by virtue of Section 1(3).
“If they have gotten an order for two weeks from the magistrate court, it is unconstitutional,” Ozekhome stressed.
He, however, disclosed that efforts had begun to secure the release of Fayose.
According to Ozekhome, Fayose’s lawyers are already taking steps to enforce his fundamental human rights by getting him released.
“Yes, his lawyers will go to court to enforce his fundamental human rights.”