Ozekhome Lawyer defeats EFCC, regains frozen account

The order to release Ozekhome's account was given by Abdulaziz Anka, a judge of the federal high court sitting in Lagos.

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Mike Ozekhome (SAN).   play

Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

 

(nigeriacamera)
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Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has gotten a federal high court court order to operate his frozen account.

The order, according to The Cable, was given by Abdulaziz Anka, a judge of the federal high court sitting in Lagos.

Anka lifted the temporary forfeiture order on the account, which had N75 million, and was frozen in February 2017 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following an application filed over allegations that the funds in the account were proceeds of crime.

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,” Anka ruled.

Anka further said: “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.

ALSO READ: Court issues order to freeze Mike Ozekhome’s account

“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,” he ruled.

Justice Anka also held that the money laundering Act 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 further said 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.

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