Speaking the Nations Mind

Ozekhome Baptised With “Ole, Ole


There was a mild drama on Monday in Lagos during the 14th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture when protesters booed Mr Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was scheduled to speak.

The annual lecture has as its theme, “Federalism, Restructuring and Good Governance: Striking a Balance”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters made up of youths, shouted “ole, ole, ole Mike Ozekhome’’ and physically tried to restrain and bar the SAN from entering the venue.

They alleged that the SAN was defending corrupt individuals in court and as a result shielded them from justice.

“His presence here is an insult to the memory of Chief Gani Fawehinmi,’’ they alleged.

The keynote address of Prof. Demola Popoola had to be stopped for 15 minutes because of the skirmish.

It had to take the intervention of Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, the Chairman of Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Femi Falana (SAN) and Mr Mohammed Fawehinmi to douse tensions.

Mohammed the first son of the late Fawehinmi told the protesting youths that violence which would have been disapproved by his father was not the right approach to address issues.

Ozekhome in his contributory address said “Gani was against oppression, repression and tyranny in whatever form.

“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, 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 exparte.

“I just stopped them again for the 2