Connect with us

News

Ozekhome Kicks as Court Freezes His Account over Money Laundering

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Justice AbdulAziz Anka of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the temporary forfeiture of N75 million the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it discovered in the account of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

But Ozekhome, in a statement yesterday, explained that the money which was freezed, was part payment for professional services he rendered to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

Justice Anka gave the order while delivering ruling in a motion ex-parte filed by the anti-graft agency seeking that the senior lawyer’s account be temporarily frozen on grounds that the said money deposited in it on December 15, 2016, was suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Idris Abdullahi, Counsel to EFCC, who argued the application filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that application was brought in pursuant to section 27 of the EFCC Act.

Idris also informed that court that three exhibit marked exhibit 01, 02 and 03 are attached with the Motion Ex-parte.

He urged the court to grant motion ex-parte and order temporary forfeiture of the account for 120 days.

Justice Anka while ruling on the motion ex-parte, ordered that Ozekhome’s account with the sum of N75 million be forfeited for 120 days.

The judge however ordered that any party that is not satisfied with the ruling can appeal.

Ozekhome, has however  described insinuation by the anti-graft agency that the fund was proceed of money laundering, as “an invidious lie from the pit of hell”.

The statement read: “It is with rude shock and personal sense of consternation that my attention has just been drawn to online publications with numerous calls from Nigerians, that my account containing N75 million domiciled with GTBank has been temporarily frozen, allegedly based on an ex-parte order obtained by the EFCC from the Honourable Justice Abdulazeez Anka of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

“It is alleged that the said sum of N75 million is ‘’suspected’’ to be the proceeds of crime or that it is from money laundering. This is an invidious lie from the pit of hell.

“For the records, the N75 million was paid into my account by my client, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, as part payment of Professional Fees for the numerous cases my chambers is currently handling for him (in his personal capacity) and his aides across Nigeria. The money is neither ‘’suspected proceeds of crime’’ nor of money laundering.

“On the 13th day of December, 2016, I defeated the EFCC in a judgment delivered by the Honourable Justice Taiwo O Taiwo, sitting at the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti.

In his judgment dated 13th December, 2016, the court ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze two accounts belonging to Governor Fayose and domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc, which accounts EFCC had, illegally , unconstitutionally, an in a most uncouth and cavalier manner frozen and blocked in Zenith Bank Plc. The court described the action of the EFCC as ‘’illegal, wrongful, unconstitutional and unlawful’’.

“Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the same lawyer who was said to have obtained the ex-parte order blocking my account from Honourable Justice Abdulazeez Anka, is the very counsel for the EFCC in the case I won for Governor Fayose before the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti.

“After the accounts were defrozen by the judgment of the court, I urged Governor Fayose to make part payment of N100 million for the numerous cases I am handling for him and his aides across Nigeria, but which he did not have funds to pay for.

“He then transferred, with the cooperation of Zenith Bank Plc, which was actually the 2nd Defendant in the suit, the sum of N75 million as part payment of my Professional Fees.

“I have since utilized the funds for the payment of salaries, school fees of my children schooling in Nigeria and abroad, with spirally inflation, and for my Mike Ozekhome Foundation (MOF) activities.

“On the 19th of January, 2017, Honourable Justice Taiwo O Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, took argument on a motion for injunction pending appeal restraining Governor Fayose from withdrawing the remaining balance in his said accounts. This same motion was argued by the same Rotimi Oyedepo.

“The court on the 31st of January, 2017, dismissed EFCC’s motion. He has now appealed to the Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti, with a similar motion.

“The present action of EFCC is clearly calculated to overreach Governor Fayose in the appeal and also to embarrass and intimidate me from defending Governor Fayose.

“This will never happen. I will continue to defend beleaguered and oppressed Nigerians from the antics and high handedness of publicly funded government institutions that breach their fundamental rights.

“It is sickening and inconceivable that money legitimately and legally paid by a client to his Solicitor from an unencumbered account wholly and totally defrozen and unblocked by the judgment of a competent court of law can be termed “suspected proceeds of crime or money laundering’’.

“I am a practising lawyer, not a government employee, contractor or a business man. I have NEVER laundered and will NEVER launder any money in my life.

“It is so shameful and disgusting when we make ourselves a laughing stock before international circles through brazen unconstitutional acts by publicly funded government institutions, just to silent all critical voices of reason and plurality of ideas.

“I shall take immediate legal steps to defreeze the account, in the event that the EFCC does not immediately voluntarily vacate the said order”.


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

NCC Board Chairman Alleges Threat to His life by Agents of DG

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Tonye Jaja, chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has raised the alarm over alleged threat to his life by agents of John Asein, director general of the agency.

NCC Board Chairman Alleges Threat to His life by Agents of DG

He disclosed that an unnamed member of the NCC Governing Board had threatened his life through phone calls and SMS messages.

The Board Chairman, who made the claim in a statement, titled: “Notification of threats to my life and reputation in the line of duty as chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission,” ‎said the development followed statements he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission as part of ongoing investigations into allegations against Asein. ‎

According to Jaja, Asein is being investigated over alleged conflict of interest and abuse of office, among other offences.

The chairman of the NCC Governing Board also alleged that Asein and his agents have vowed to destroy his reputation through publications in the media.

The statement read: “Yesterday, I received a verbal threat during a telephone call and an SMS from one member of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright (NCC).‎

“In a nutshell, he threatened that he will use online newspapers and other means to disgrace me and rubbish my reputation.

“His annoyance and threats is not an isolated incident, it is part of a coordinated onslaught of threats, publications of propaganda and other acts of reprisal targetted against me in my capacity as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

“The persons behind this have gone to the illegal extent of forging certain documents and leaking government official documents to Online newspapers in their desperate attempts at smearing my hard earned reputation.

“The Office of the Inspector-General of Police is currently investigating one of such incidences.

“All this smear campaign is because I ‎was invited by the Code of Conduct Bureau and the ICPC as part of their investigation of Mr John Asein the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) whom they are investigating for allegations of conflict of interest and abuse of office, etc.

“‎As a responsible and law-abiding citizen,  who could not disobey the invitation of the ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau, I went to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and deposed to an affidavit to confirm the veracity of the written and oral statements that I submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“Instead of these persons to apply the same steps of going before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or any other court of Justice in Nigeria to swear an affidavit and oath on the pain of perjury, in support of any statements they are making, they have resorted to peddling fake news, falsehood and false, unsubstantiated allegations through the pages of online newspapers and other social media platforms.

“In recent times, their anger and onslaught has intensified because their attempts to “kill” and “bury” the investigations proved abortive considering that the ICPC, the EFCC and the Code of Conduct Bureau continued with the investigations which they had previously in an online newspaper described as the petition against Mr. John Asein as jokers.’”

The Governing Board Chairman added that anybody who is sincerely interested in knowing and verifying the truth of the allegations against Asein can make Freedom of Information requests to the Department of State Services, ‎Chairman of the ICPC,‎ Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Inspector-General of Police through the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of the Federal Investigations Bureau.

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

Health Plus Accuses Foreign Firm of Attempt to Fraudulently Takeover Business

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Health Plus, a pharmaceutical company, has accused Alta Semper Capital, a foreign private equity firm (PEF), of a fraudulent attempt to take over its business.

Health Plus Accuses Foreign Firm of Attempt to Fraudulently Takeover Business

In a rejoinder to a press release earlier issued by the PEF, Health Plus dismissed the appointment of Chidi Okoro as chief transformation officer and the claim that Olubukunola Adewunmi George, chief executive officer, remains a director and shareholder

Health Plus stated that it entered into a five-year partnership with Alta Semper Capital in 2018 to inject fresh capital to further grow the business.

George, the rejoinder stated, was prepared to give PEF a controlling stake in order for them to realise their investment.

However, it added, PEF started working of schemes aimed at taking over the business after seeing the vastness of the Nigerian market.

PEF, according to Health Plus, deliberately starved the company of funds, neglected its obligations to the business, appointed Okoro as CTO and was running the company in utter disregard for George’s wishes.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors was said to have resigned two days ago while another director resigned five weeks ago over the debilitating effect of the impasse on the company.

The rejoinder stated that George had, in May 2020, instituted a suit at the Federal High Court (FHC/L/CS/609/2020) seeking to stop HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited (the investment vehicle used by Alta Semper Capital and which they control) and their nominee directors from continuing to run and manage the company with disregard to her interests as a member of the Company.

After being served the court summons, PEF appealed for a mediation of the crisis outside court, a process frustrated after three meetings in three months.

Alta Semper thereafter filed an arbitration claim in England.

“Alta Semper’s latest actions, including the arbitration claim that it has now filed, constitute a serious affront to the authority of the Court seised of the suit, a desecration of the integrity of the Nigerian judicial system and a gross violation of Nigeria’s extant legislation.

“The General Public, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, our Staff, loyal Customers, Vendors, Landlords, Bankers and all Stakeholders are advised to totally disregard and ignore the earlier unauthorised Press Release from those who have no real stake in the Company, its employees or Nigeria.

“Mrs. Bukky George remains the Founder & CEO of the Company and is focused on preserving and growing this national treasure,” the rejoinder read.

 

 

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

Labour Vows to Shut Down Airports, Banks, Others from Today

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Organised Labour in Lagos State has said all sectors would be shut from Monday.

Labour Vows to Shut Down Airports, Banks, Others from Today

Amaechi Asogwuni, deputy vice president, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), spoke at a news conference on Sunday, said airports, banks, and offices would not be allowed to function.

“No airport will be in operation in Nigeria; banks are not expected to function, so no business owners should risk himself, for Nigerian workers have taken that decision”, NAN quoted him as saying.

“We are the workers and we are withdrawing our services; we have the right to do so because protests are our constitutional right. And I believe we will enforce it; schools shall remain closed until this action ends.”

The labour leader appealed to Nigerians to join the protest.

He reminded them that it was part of their quota to democracy.

On the increase in petrol price, Asogwuni said the federal government should have engaged the organised labour and other stakeholders.

“The government did not do that at a time it ought to; it failed in its duty to engage labour before time. On the issue of electricity, the government had earlier had an interaction with labour in Kano and we discouraged it from proceeding.”


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Social

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending