Invoking a virtually unknown provision in the law, that may affect millions of bank account owners, a federal high court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the temporary forfeiture of N75 million in the account of Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The money is lodged in an account domiciled with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
Abdulaziz Anka, a justice, gave the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte filed by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-graft agency had asked the court to freeze the account.
EFCC’s prayer is on the ground that the amount deposited in the said account on December 15, 2016, is suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Arguing the application, which was filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC, Idris Mohammed, informed the court that the application was brought pursuant to section 29 of the EFCC Act.
Mohammed informed the court that three exhibits marked 01, 02 and 03 were attached to the motion ex-parte.
He also said an affidavit of urgency, sworn to by an investigator of the agency, Tosin Owobo, was also attached to the application.
Mohammed, therefore, urged the court to grant the motion ex-parte and order a temporary forfeiture of funds in the account for 120 days.
Delivering a bench ruling on the motion, Anka ordered that Ozekhome’s account with the sum of N75 million be forfeited for 120 days.
The judge however said that any party, dissatisfied with the ruling, could file an appeal.
Ozekhome is one of the lawyers of Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti state.
He represented Fayose when the governor’s Zenith Bank accounts were frozen by the anti-graft agency.