EFCC Appeals Unfreezing Of Ozekhome’s Account
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an appeal against the court ruling that unfroze the Guaranty Trust Bank account of a senior lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome, which contained 75 million Naira paid to him by Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
In his ruling on Monday, Justice Abdulaziz Anka held that though it was not in doubt that the 75 million Naira came from Governor Fayose, Mr Ozekhome could not be held liable because there was no restriction on the Governor’s account at the time the money was paid to his law firm.
Justice Anka added that the freezing order earlier obtained by the EFCC in respect of Fayose’s accounts had been lifted by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti.
At the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, the anti-graft agency, however, alleged a miscarriage of justice and premised its appeal on three grounds.
One of the grounds was that “the learned trial judge erred in law when he set aside his own order of interim attachment before the expiration of 120 days granted to the EFCC to conclude its investigation”.
The Commission argued that at the point of granting its ex-parte application, the trial judge directed the Manager of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc., to attach the Statement of Account of the senior lawyer’s chamber with the bank for a period of 120 days, pending the determination of investigation and possible prosecution.
The EFCC said it was, however, dismayed that before the expiration of the 120 days, and while investigation was ongoing, the interim order of forfeiture was vacated by Justice Anka.
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