A Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has asked a Lagos Federal High Court to set aside an interim order freezing his account.
The said account contains N75 million he says Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose paid his law firm for legal services.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had in an application to a Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Justice Abdulazeez Anka, asked that Ozakhome’s account with Guarantee Trust Bank containing N75 million be temporarily frozen on the allegation that the fund was proceeds of crime.
Upon that application, Justice Anka, on February 7, instructed a temporary forfeiture of the money.
But Ozekhome, in his application, is seeking an order, vacating with immediate effect, the interim order made ex-parte, which ordered a temporary attachment of the money for 120 days.
He asked the court to issue 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.
According to the lawyer, the application for an order of interim forfeiture of his account was done in bad faith and negation with statutory and judicial authorities in obtaining an interim order through a motion ex parte.
He alleged that the respondent suppressed material facts in obtaining the order Based on this he described the action of the anti-graft agency as unconstitutional as same offends Sections 36, 37 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.
Ozekhome argued that, if his application is not granted, and the freezing order lifted as soon as possible, his family, staff, dependants, associates, business and livelihood will be subjected to severe hardship.
He also filed an affidavit of urgency deposed to by a lawyer in his firm, Chimaobi Onuigbo, demanding that the case be heard urgently.
The motion to set aside the freezing order will be heard on February 23.
Ozekhome had claimed that the N75 million was paid into his account by his client, Governor Fayose as part payment of professional fees for the numerous cases his chambers is currently handling for him.
EFCC was recently ordered by a Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti, to unfreeze the account of Governor Fayose it froze over alleged corruption. Ozekhome was the governor’s counsel to in that case.A Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has asked a Lagos Federal High Court to set aside an interim order freezing his account.