Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist has again defeated the EFCC, for the 7th time in 12 months, in a judgement delivered April 3 by Justice Abdulazeeez Hanka of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The Court upheld Chief Mike Ozekhome,SAN’s action in court challenging the freezing of his chambers Account,describing EFCC’s act of freezing the account as DIABOLICAL.
The Court held that the action of the EFCC was illegal,unconstitutional and unorthodox,for freezing the lawyer’s Chambers account into which N75m was paid by governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state as part payment of his professional fees for 8 cases the lawyer is currently handling for the governor ,his friends and aids.
The Court wondered what right EFCC has to freeze a lawyer’s professional fees,more so when it was paid from a Court -ordered defrozeen account, a fact EFCC could not controvert.
Holding that he cannot sit on appeal over the judgement of justice Taiwo who defreezed the account,nor over the proceedings of the Court of Appeal to which EFCC has since appealed,Justice Hanka agreed with the submissions of Chief Mike Ozekhome,SAN, who appeared for himself and dismissed the submissions of Mr Rotimi Oyedepo who appeared for the EFCC and held that all the authorities cited by Oyedepo were not applicable.
In vacating his earlier order obtained ex parte by the EFCC on 7th February,2017,the judge held that a party against whom an ex parte order has been made is perfectly entitled to have the order vacated and that such does not amount to shielding his client from prosecution.
The court also held that there is evidence that the payment of the professional fees was not proceeds of crime or of money laundering.
The court,after reviewing all submissions and authorities cited therefore ordered the attached account defrozeen and made operational immediately.
Chief Ozekhome, SAN, who was personally present in court, praised the judge for exhibiting rare courage and upholding the rule of Law and the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens, even in the face of clear intimidation of the judiciary and browbeating of judges.
Chief Ozekhome later lambasted the Presidential Advisory Committee on anti Corruption, accusing it of serially misleading President Muhammad Buhari government through low quality anti-people advice which has in turn led the government into taking draconian and despotic actions against nigerian citizens,thereby putting fundamental rights and rule of Law to flight.
He said the Committee has become a great burden, albatross on the government’s neck, creating problems, rather than solutions, to the government; winning for it more enemies than friends.