The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been restricted from inviting, harassing and threatening to arrest or detain popular lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome.
The senior lawyer had approached the court seeking the restriction of EFCC from carrying out those actions against him over publications and speeches he made concerning the “apparent opaqueness and lopsidedness” of the corruption fight of the EFCC under the leadership of Magu.
The court held on Thursday that the action of the agency constituted a violation of Ozekhome’s fundamental rights as enshrined in sections 35, 37, 39 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The court said the action of the anti-graft agency also contravened Articles 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act, Cap. A9 LFN 2004.
The EFCC, Magu and one of its lead operatives, Abubakar Madaki, were named as the first to third respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/324/2018
Ozekhome had told the court that aside from repeatedly summoning him to appear for questioning, the EFCC froze his bank account after he was paid his legal fees totalling the sum of N75 million, by the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.
He maintained that one of the reasons the EFCC made him its primary target, was due to the fact that he secured so many legal victories against it in various courts in the country.
He said he did not commit any offence to warrant the incessant invitations and threats to arrest, detain or declare him wanted by the respondents.
He further told the court that the account from which the N75 million was paid to him, belonged to the former governor of Ekiti, who he said had not been convicted by any court to warrant labelling the money as proceed of crime.
He averred that it took the intervention of the Federal High Court in Lagos to unfreeze his bank account; and consequently, he prayed the court to among other things, declare that he was entitled to receive legal fees for professional services he rendered to clients.