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Mike Ozekhome

Ozekhome urges court to defreeze his account

Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Lagos-based lawyer and Rights activist, has asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to vacate an interim order freezing his account.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka, had on Feb. 7, ordered a temporary forfeiture of N75 million found in Ozekhome’s Guarantee Trust Bank account.

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

In his application filed on Thursday, Ozekhome is seeking an order to discharge the interim to freeze 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 that the application for an order of interim forfeiture of his account was done in bad faith by the EFCC.

The EFCC, he argued, did not 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 Sections 36, 37 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said that his “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 Feb. 23.


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