Mike Ozekhome has said Fayose merely paid N75m out of the N250m he owed him as legal fees for representing him in court.
Ozekhome told a Federal High Court in Lagos that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had no justification to freeze his Guaranty Trust Bank account with a balance of N75m.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also confirmed that he was paid by one of his clients, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.
He stressed that the N75m was his legitimate earning, which the Governor had paid him out of a total of N250m legal fee which Fayose owed him.
Ozekhome however urged Justice Abdulaziz Anka to reverse the freezing order obtained by the EFCC on February 7, 2017, saying it was not his business to probe the source of his client’s income from which he was paid his legitimate legal fee.
He showed the judge correspondences between him and Fayose, wherein he demanded payment of his legal fees and where Fayose, in reply, sought his (Ozekhome’s) understanding, stating that he was unable to pay at the time because the EFCC had frozen his bank accounts.
Ozekhome recalled that Fayose paid him after Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti on December 13, 2016 unfroze his accounts with the Zenith Bank.
“The account frozen by Justice Idris had been unfrozen by Justice Taiwo and made operational after it was found that material facts were suppressed,” Ozekhome said.
But the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Anka not to grant Ozekhome’s prayer, saying the SAN ought to have known that the money paid to him formed part of proceeds of “fraudulent activities.”
“The N75million is from the proceeds of the alleged crime fraudulently taken from the ONSA and kept in Fayose’s account from where it was transferred to Ozekhome,” he said.
The matter under Justice Anka was adjourned till April 3, 2017 for ruling.