By Moji Eniola
There was a gentle drama on Monday in Lagos in the course of the 14th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture when protesters booed Mr Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was scheduled to talk.
The annual lecture has as its theme, “Federalism, Restructuring and Good Governance: Striking a Balance”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reviews that the protesters made up of youths, shouted “ole, ole, ole Mike Ozekhome’’ and bodily tried to restrain and bar the SAN from getting into the venue.
They alleged that the SAN was defending corrupt people in court docket and in consequence shielded them from justice.
“His presence right here is an insult to the reminiscence of Chief Gani Fawehinmi,’’ they alleged.
The keynote deal with of Prof. Demola Popoola needed to be stopped for 15 minutes due to the skirmish.
It needed to take the intervention of Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, the Chairman of Ikeja department of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Femi Falana (SAN) and Mr Mohammed Fawehinmi to douse tensions.
Mohammed the primary son of the late Fawehinmi advised the protesting youths that violence which might have been disapproved by his father was not the precise strategy to deal with points.
Ozekhome in his contributory deal with stated “Gani was towards oppression, repression and tyranny in no matter type.
“That is why in 1983, the NBA stated that attorneys mustn’t defend alleged corrupt politicians below the then General Muhammadu Buhari to struggle corruption, Gani stated no these individuals are entitled to their rights.
“By Section 36 of the Constitution, each particular person’s innocence is presumed; I used to be with Gani after we had been defending the so referred to as corrupt politicians.
“I’m simply coming now from the court docket, the place the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wished to freeze the account of a citizen through exparte.
“I simply stopped them once more for the 20th time, I’ll proceed to struggle the federal government which seems the opposite manner when corruption is recorded of their system.
“I’ve advised Mr Magu 3 times to prosecute at the least one particular person of their authorities in order that we will present that corruption is being fought,’’ he stated.
Ozekhome who was a senior counsel within the regulation chambers of Fawehinmi famous that in his time with Fawehinmi, he helped discovered the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR) and the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO).
“The Shiites that had been mowed down throughout their protests, the bloodbath in Southern Kaduna, Enugu State and so many different incidents are because of lack of true federalism and restructuring,’’ he stated.
Responding to the chants of “lies, lies, lies’’ throughout his speech, the SAN advised the protesters “you can’t intimidate me, you might be all employed’.’
Speaking, Falana (SAN) stated, “Go and find out from your history books, Gani never defended anyone being tried by the EFCC or the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC), I need to correct that misconception.”
NAN reviews that Ozekhome is a counsel for former First Lady Mrs Patience Jonathan, Dr Bukola Saraki, the Senate President and Mr Ayodele Fayose, the Governor of Ekiti. (NAN)