Court lifts restriction on Mike Ozekhome’s account

Abdulaziz Anka, a judge of the federal high court sitting in Lagos, has lifted the temporary forfeiture order on the account of Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The account, which had N75 million, was frozen in February following an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC had claimed that the said money was a proceed of crime.

Anka said going by what was before the court, he found it “doubtful if the objection of the EFCC can be lawfully sustained.”

“Considering the order above quoted and the depositions, I do not understand or comprehend why the applicant/respondent’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, would still argue and stand his ground that the same account has not be unfrozen by the federal high court sitting in Ekiti state,” he ruled.

“In both the order and the depositions, the account numbered 1000312625, was evidently and manifestly unfrozen, such an argument, therefore, by Mr Oyedepo Esq cannot hold water.”

“From the circumstances and facts as outlined above, my decision is based on the following considerations: considering the fact that the source of the fund of the respondent/applicant is derivable from an unencumbered account; considering also the fact that such account has also been unfrozen via the order of the federal high court sitting in Ado-Ekiti; considering also that the amount has been dissipated.

“Put into consideration also was the fact that the funds are monies paid for the services rendered by the respondent/applicant in prosecuting various actions before various courts. I find it very doubtful if the objection of the EFCC can be lawfully sustained.”

The judge also held that the section of the money laundering Act dealing with disclosure of lodgements of N10million and above, cited by the EFCC in support of its case, does not apply to a private legal practitioner such as Ozekhome, especially where the N75million was paid from a court-ordered defrozen account.

He berated Oyedepo for approbating and reprobating, “when in one breadth, he called the fees proceeds of crime, and in another breadth”, he agreed that Ozekhome had actually worked for the fees and was thus entitled to it.

The judge held that filing an application to set aside an earlier ex-parte order of injunction as done by Ozekhome cannot in anyway amount to attempting to shield himself from investigation.


Source: The Cable

Senate Has The Right To Summon Anyone – Mike Ozekhome

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Mike Ozekhome, has stated that the Senate has the right to summon it’s members to order at anytime.

“The Committee of the House or the House, can summon any person. it says any person, and it didn’t say some people.

“It didn’t say whether those elected or not elected. Any person; to bring papers, memos, come with evidence, and that if such a person is summoned to come and testify or to come and answer questions and he refuses to come, under Section 5, the Branch of the National Assembly can order the Police to arrest and bring such a person.”


He added that “the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives if satisfied that the person has entered into recognizance, they can release the person but if not satisfied, they can tell them to keep the person there.”

He made his position known while speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Ozekhome’s view was however in contrast to that of his colleague, Mr Femi Falana, who believes that the Senate has no power to suspend a member even for a single day.

The lawyers made the comments while addressing the Senate’s recent suspension of one of its members, Senator Ali Ndume, for allegedly bringing the House to disrepute, as well as the investigation and summoning of some of its members.

“In matters regarding some of the distinguished Senators, the court has made definitive judicial pronouncements. No legislative House in Nigeria, can suspend a member for one single day and we have a plethora of authorities on this,” Mr Falana stressed.


Source: Channels TV

Fayose paid Ozekhome from his share of Dasuki’s loot – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begged Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court in Lagos not to give Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) access to his account in Guaranty Trust Bank which has a balance of N75m.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the money, which was paid to Ozekhome as legal fee by the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, was part of the N2.26bn arms procurement fund, which a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), allegedly looted.

The EFCC claimed to have traced N1.22bn out of the N2.26bn Dasuki loot to Fayose.

The anti-graft agency claimed that Dasuki routed the money to Fayose through a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

The EFCC said this in a counter-affidavit it filed in opposition to an application by Ozekhome seeking the unfreezing of his account.

Ozekhome’s GTB account, having a balance of N75m, had since February 7, 2017, been frozen by the EFCC on the order of Justice Anka.

But Ozekhome had approached the court stating that the EFCC misrepresented facts to obtain the freezing order and urged Justice Anka to lift the freezing order.

The SAN had contended that the action of the EFCC was unconstitutional, had no legal justification, and was a gross violation of sections 36, 37 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.

In response, however, the EFCC, in a counter affidavit deposed to by one of its prosecutors, Idris Mohammed, lamented that though it had earlier secured an interim order from Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos to freeze Fayose’s account, the governor, through Ozekhome, went before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Ado Ekiti Division of the Federal High Court to obtain an order to unfreeze the account.

The EFCC prosecutor said despite the fact that Fayose was aware that it had immediately appealed Justice Taiwo’s ruling, the governor still went ahead to dissipate part of the contentious funds, paying a sum of N75m to Ozekhome who helped him to secure Justice Taiwo’s unfreezing order.

The EFCC said Ozekhome ought to have “reasonably known that the N75m was transferred to him” from Fayose’s account, which the EFCC claimed was used to retain proceeds of crime and alleged kickbacks from some contractors in Ekiti State.

The EFCC urged Justice Anka not to unfreeze Ozekhome’s account.

Justice Anka adjourned till 7, 2017 for hearing in the case.



Ozekhome asks court to lift restriction on his account

Mike Ozekhome, a Lagos-based lawyer, has asked a federal high court in Lagos to vacate an interim order freezing his account.

On February 7, Abdulazeez Anka, a judge, gave a temporary forfeiture of N75 million found in Ozekhome’s Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) account.

The order followed an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which prayed the court to freeze the account temporarily, on the ground that the money was suspected to be proceeds of crime.

In his application, Ozekhome is seeking an order, discharging forthwith, the interim order made ex-parte, which ordered a temporary attachment of the money for 120 days.

He sought an order restraining the EFCC, “whether by themselves or their privies”, from dealing in any way and manner as to the operation or the proprietary rights of the ownership of the account.

Ozekhome said the application for an order of interim forfeiture of his account was done in bad faith. He accused the EFCC of failing to comply with statutory and judicial authorities in obtaining an interim order through a motion ex parte.

According to him, the respondent allegedly suppressed material facts in obtaining the order, as a result of which he held that the action is unconstitutional as same offends dections 36, 37 and 41 of the 1999 constitution.

He said the applicant’s family, staff, dependants, associates, business and livelihood will greatly suffer, if this application is not granted, and the freezing order lifted immediately.

Ozekhome also filed an affidavit of urgency deposed to by a lawyer in his firm, Chimaobi Onuigbo, praying that that the case be heard urgently.

The motion to set aside the freezing order will be heard on February 23.