An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti on Thursday declined to grant an ex-parte order sought by the Ekiti state government to restrain EFCC from investigating the finances of the state.￼
Justice Cornelius Akintayo refused to grant the order on the grounds that all the defendants in the case must first be put on notice to enable them prepare for their defence at the court.
The judge consequently adjourned the suit to August 23 and ordered all parties in the suit to appear before him when the motion on notice would be heard.
The suit was filed by Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Owoseni Ajayi, to stop the impending investigation of the accounts of the state government by the anti graft agency.
Another relief sought by the plaintiffs was an order stopping the arrest of the Commissioner for Finance, Accountant General and the managers of the banks in which the state has commitments.
Defendants in the suit including the Speaker of the House of Assembly, EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS), Commissioner for Finance, Accountant General and five banks doing business with state government and the managers of those banks.
The plaintiffs were represented by J. Ejelonu, a lawyer in the chambers of the Attorney General held brief for Ahmed Raji (SAN) who argued the motion ex parte.
Commenting on the ruling,, a legal practitioner ,Kolade Ilesanmi, who came for another matter in the same court commended Justice Akintayo for rejecting the motion to prevent the anti-grant agencies from investigating Ekiti government accounts.
“Myself and another counsel, Abubakar Ajibade,are here in the same court for different matters but we stood up as friends of the Court and commend the judge for the ruling.
“We also adverted the minds of the Court to similar case before the Akwa Ibom High Court in which the judge granted a motion Exparte which has now landed him trouble with the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“From the legal point of view, any matter involving federal institutions is usually heard by the Federal High Court save for the matters that border on Fundamental Rights enforcement in which both the Federal High Courts and State High Courts are seized with jurisdiction”, he said