October 4, 2023

Renowned lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, has described the order by an Abuja Federal High Court on Thursday, restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting or detaining him as “a defeat to impunity and lawlessness.”

Mr Ozekhome told Peoples Gazette on Friday that all the court did was to vindicate him of EFCC’s false allegations of money laundering and tax evasion levelled against him by the then Ibrahim Magu-led anti-graft agency which it said based its allegations on an intelligence report provided by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The Nation had on Friday reported that the presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo, described as unlawful, EFCC’s moves of intimidation, repeated invitations, threats to arrest, detain and humiliate the lawyer over his criticism of EFCC’s handling of corruption cases during the leadership of Mr Magu.

According to the news outlet, the judge termed the agency’s actions as an infringement of his fundamental human rights as postulated in Sections 35, 37, 39 and 41 of the Construction and Articles 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act.

The lawyer, responding to his vindication, stated that the court’s judgement was “a demonstration of the resilient power of the judiciary and course of law to enthrone justice to defend the rights of the common people.”

According to Mr Ozekhome, “Magu wanted to humiliate and intimidate me just for criticising him and the federal government about their lopsided fight against corruption which made them to take only the oppositions, critics, and human rights activists while embracing the real and corrupt people and bringing them into their party.”

He described all the allegations against him as cooked up lies to get him into their net because they felt embarrassed after he had won all the suits they filed against him.

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