Ozekhome tackles EFCC in court over frozen account

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed March 2, 2017 to hear an application by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, praying the the court to unfreeze his bank account, which has a balance of N75m.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka had on February 7 made an order freezing the account after entertaining an ex parte application to that effect from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC had told the judge that it suspected that the N75m found in Ozekhome’s account domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank was proceeds of crime.

The anti-graft agency urged the court to freeze the account for 120 days pending its investigation and Justice Anka granted the order.

In a bid to have the freezing order lifted, however, Ozekhome appeared in court on Thursday before Justice Anka.

He said he had since February 14 filed an application to the discharge the order freezing his account, adding that he served the application on the EFCC on February 20.

But the EFCC was not represented in court on Thursday.

Justice Anka noted that the EFCC had seven days to respond to Ozekhome’s application and the time had not lapsed.

“They’re entitled to seven days. Their time has not lapsed. Let’s give them their time. So we’ll give them seven days,” the judge said.

Conceding to the judge’s view, Ozekhome, however, asked that the case should be adjourned till the earliest date for hearing “because of the urgency of the case.”

Justice Anka, consequently fixed March 2 for hearing.

Ozekhome, who is counsel for the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, claimed that the N75m found in his bank account was legal fee paid him by the governor.

The SAN had represented Fayose in court when the EFCC froze the governor’s accounts in Zenith Bank Plc over alleged money laundering.

He had obtained an order from Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti to unfreeze Fayose’s accounts.

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