Falana, student activists embarrass Ozekhome at late Fawehinmi lecture
Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mike Ozekhome many known for defending corrupt politicians had a face-off with a colleagues and student activists who heckled him and called him a liar during his speech at the 14th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture in Lagos on Monday.
The protesting youths restricted Ozekhome from entering he venue, shouting as he made his speech in the lecture themed Federalism, Restructuring and Good Governance: Striking a Balance.
Accusing the Lagos lawyer of defending corrupt individuals in court and shielding them from justice, the youth claimed his presence here is an insult to the memory of Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
Even after the youth were calmed down by Fawehinmi’s son Mohammed and others who appealed to the late lawyer’s non-violent ideal, Ozekhome’s troubles were not over yet as he began his speech.
“Gani was against oppression, repression and tyranny in whatever form,” he said, going down memory lane.
“That is why in 1983, the NBA said that lawyers should not defend alleged corrupt politicians under the then General Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption, but Gani said No; these people are entitled to their rights.
“By Section 36 of the Constitution, every person’s innocence is presumed; I was with Gani when we were defending the so-called corrupt politicians.
“I am just coming now from the court where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wanted to freeze the account of a citizen via ex parte.
“I just stopped them again for the 20th time. I will continue to fight the government which looks the other way when corruption is recorded in their system.
“I have told Mr. Magu three times to prosecute at least one person in their government so that we can show that corruption is being fought,’’ he said.
The protesters began to shout “lies, lies, lies’’.
“You cannot intimidate me. You are all hired,’’ he said.
And later, another Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) who is sympathetic to the cause of the
EFCC, stood up and threw a jab at his colleague.
“Go and find out from your history books—Gani never defended anyone being tried by the EFCC or ICPC,” said Falana.
“I need to correct that misconception.”
Apart from the former First Lady Patience Jonathan whom Ozekhome has been defending, Ekiti Gov Ayo Fayose, Senate President Bukola Saraki are among his prominent clients battling corruption cases across courts in Nigeria.
The students activists had earlier warned Ozekhome to stay away from the lecture.