The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, operatives have invited the five governors, who were recently sacked by the Supreme Court, to answer questions regarding management of state finances during their tenure in office.
The ex-governors include the governor of Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Wammako, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris (Kogi State), Admiral Murtala Nyako (Adamawa State), and Senator Liyel Imoke (Cross River State).
This came less than 48 hours after the governors were ordered to vacate their seats amid speculations that some of them may be on their way out of the country to escape investigations by anti-graft agencies.
There have been petitions written against some of the ex-governors when they were in government, but they could not be invited for questioning because of the immunity clause that shielded them while in office.
The immunity clause which is spelt out in Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution provides that, “No civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against a person to whom this section applies during his period of office; A person to whom this section applies shall not be arrested or imprisoned during that period either in pursuance of the process of any court or otherwise;
“And no process of any court requiring or compelling the appearance of a person to whom this section applies, shall be applied for or issued: Provided that in ascertaining whether any period of limitation has expired for the purposes of any proceedings against a person to whom this section applies, no account shall be taken of his period of office.”
The clause applies to a person holding the office of president or vice-president, governor or deputy governor.
A source revealed that the EFCC was “ready to do whatever is necessary and legal” to bring the former governors and their cohorts to account for allegations of financial misconduct.