Renowned constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Mike Ozekhome, has faulted Mr. Femi Falana, on his position that the there is no absolute immunity for governors, deputy governors, President and vice-president in the country.
Falana had, during a paper entitled: The Limits of Immunity Clause’, he delivered at the 60th birthday of the Edo State’s Secretary to Government, SSG, Professor Julius Inhonvbere, said that the Money Laundering Act and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Act as well as the international criminal court laws do not give absolute immunity to Governor Ayodele Fayose against criminal prosecution, adding that the EFCC was in order by freezing the governor’s accounts and thereafter obtain a court order against his bank.
But Ozekhome, who heads governor Fayose’s legal team against the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, said contrary to Falana’s argument; “Election petitions are sue generic, they are generic because they are in a class of their own. They are an hybrid, neither civil nor criminal procedures. That is why it is the constitution itself that gives the right for a governor to be sued when they are challenging his mandate , it is not the lower laws like an Act of parliament like EFCC.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the Lagos-based lawyer said: ‘’EFCC is an act of parliament which is millions of miles lower than the provisions of the constitution. And any provision from the EFCC Act or money laundering Act which is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution is null and void by nature of section 1, sub-section 3 of the same 1999 constitution,“ he said.
Arguing further, he said: “It is the same constitution in section 308 that says that when it comes to civil or criminal procedure, you can never sue the governor and such should not be entertained in any court of Law.”