2012 Vol4 No2 RONNEY Content


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CHIEF, DR. MIKE AGBEDOR ABU OZEKHOME, SAN, SAM AN ICON IN LEGAL MATTERS

Some call him a scholar, others call him an achiever and we call him the defender of the less- privileged ones .He is High Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, the colossus who has bestrode the Nigerian legal landscape for over two decades. He has evinced his flashes of academic wizardry and enviable leadership qualities right from his secondary school days at St. Peter's College, Agenebode, Edo State (1970 1974) where he was the overall best student in the West African School Certificate Examination at the school. His oratorical skill and writing prowess were honed in his secondary school days when he became the Co-founder and General Secretary, Press Club St. Peter's College, Agenebode (1972 1974) and the winner, Inter-Collegiate debates competitions Etsako Secondary Schools for three years running (1972 1974).

These skills later flourished when he was a law student at the prestigious University of Ife. Amongst several other outstanding achievements, he was the best debater, Inter-faculty Debate, for three consecutive years (1977 1979) and the Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief and later Chairman at various times, of the X-Ray Club, publishers of the vibrant “The X-Ray” Magazine. He bagged his (LL. B. Hons) degree in 1980 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981. He later bagged his Master of Law degree (LL.M) in 1983 from his alma matter, University of Ife.

A consummate scholar and highly successful legal practitioner, Mike Ozekhome was a Graduate Assistant, Faculty of Law, at the University of Ife (1982 1983), Senior Lecturer, Benson Idahosa University, Benin city (2004 2006) and Guest Lecturer to some Nigerian Universities (1985 till date). He was Associate and Deputy Head of Chambers of Gani Fawehinmi's Chambers, Lagos (1984 1985). Today, he is the Chief Counsel / Head of Chambers, Mike Ozekhome's Chambers, a thriving legal firm of over twenty-five Attorneys with branches scattered across four zones of Nigeria, namely, Lagos, Abuja, Benin City and Agenebode (1986 till date).

He is happily married with children.

HONOURS AND AWARDS:

·Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN) (2009).

· Senior Advocate of the Masses (S.A.M.) presented by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) (2005).

· LL.D. (Doctor of Laws) degree (Honoris Causa) American Heritage University, California (2008).

· Ph.D. (Honoris Causa) (Business Administration). Cornerstone University and Theological Seminary, Jerusalem, Israel (2010).

· “Great African Patriotic Achiever of the Year” Award by Vision Africa, London (April, 2010).

· Inducted into the American Hall of fame for his “Outstanding Commitment, Dedication and Inspiration Leadership” by the American Biographical Institute, Raleigh North Carolina, USA (2011).

· “Life Achievement Award” Plaque by the United Cultural Convention (2011).

· “National Hero African Hall of Fame Award” by the National Hero Magazine as “Most Dynamic Lawyer of the Year” (2006).

· Listed in “Dictionary of International Biography” (Who is Who in the World) by the International Biography Centre (IBC), Cambridge, England (1999).

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES

·International Bar Association (IBA).

·Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA).

·African Bar Association (A.B.A.).

Nigerian Bar Association (N.B.A.).

·Fellow, Nigerian Institute of management (FNIM).

·Transparency International (Nigeria).

·Peace Initiative, etc.

Mike Ozekhome specializes in Constitutional Law, Litigation and Arbitration, Corporate and Commercial Law, Taxation, Oil, Gas and Environmental Law, Real Property, Aviation, Maritime and ICT Practice, and several other branches of law.

He has been involved in several national appointments/assignments. These include:

·Appointment “National Leader of the Thought” by the National Summit Group to discuss and chart the way forward for Nigeria. He was the only representative from the entire Edo State (February, 2010).

·Member of the “Monitoring and Observation Board” by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor and observe the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area. Council Elections which were adjudged to have been free, fair and credible (April, 2010).

· Federal Government nominee to Vision 2020 (representing the Judiciary and Rule of Law thematic area). This special committee was set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to reposition Nigeria as one of the leading economics in the World by the 2020 (2009).

· Spokesman (Chairman, Publicity and Media Committee) of the South South Delegates Forum of the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC) (2005). This forum spear headed issues bordering on Resource Control, Revenue Allocation and Fiscal federalism.

· Chairman, Sub committee on Civil Society, Media and Labour at the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC) (2005).

· Member, Five-Member Special Presidential Committee that investigated and recalled many politically victimized and expelled students and lecturers of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, particularly during the military era. This committee toured all tertiary institutions in Nigeria, and arbitrated on and resolved cases of injustice done to lecturers and students during the military era. Many of those recalled or reinstated have since become big players in the Nigeria socio-economic and political scene (2001).

· Chairman, Seven-Man Panel of “Persons or unquestionable integrity”, appointed under section 188 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, that investigated allegations leveled against the then Deputy Governor of Abia Satte, during impeachment proceedings against him, (2000).

· Member, Seven-Man panel of Inquiry set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to probe, restructure and re-organise the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) whose recommendations led to massive and profound port reforms in Nigeria (1994).

· Ambassador of Peace World Peace Federation affiliated to the United Nations Organisation (UNO).

· Ambassador representing Nigerian at the World Forum in Cambridge, England (2010) and San Francisco, USA (2011).

IMPORTANT CASES WON

· Has handled and participated in many sensational and epochal cases that have shaped Nigeria, contributed to her legal jurisprudence and enthroned Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law from the High Court to the Supreme Court. Some of these cases include the “Oil Subsidy” case; the “Umanah Umanah (Port-Harcourt money-man)” case; the “on-shore/Off-shore” suit at the Supreme Court; “36 Houses of Assembly Vs. Senate” suit; the “General Zamani Lekwot” case; the “Gwagwalada Five” case; the “Decampment” of Senators case; the “Electoral Act” case; the “Nzeriba Vs. Senate” Cases at the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal; “The ICPC Vs. Senate” cases from the Federal High Court to Supreme Court; the “Anyim Vs Nzeriba cases from the FCT High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court; the “Anyim Vs. Akanbi” cases; the “Uduehi Vs. N'Abba” case, the Alamieyeseigba cases at the Federal High Court, in Yenogao, Abuja and Court of Appeal Lagos and Port Harcourt, the Daboh Vs. National Assembly case; Kenny Martins series of cases at the FCT High Court, Federal High Court, Court of Appeal; the Senator Bob Vs. Chief Ime Albert Akpan at Lection Petition in Tribunal, Uyo, Federal High Court, Abuja, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court; the FRN Vs. Femi Fani Kayode at the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court; FRN Vs. Charles Ojo at the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal; Prince Abubakar Audu's line of cases at the FCT High Court, Federal High Court, Lokoja and election petition, FRN Vs. Igbinedion, Global Fleet Vs. BPE; Daar Communications Plc series of cases in Lagos and Abuja, etc. the Odom Vs. Amange Barigla cases at FCT High Court, Election Petition Tribunal, Yenogao and court of Appeal and Port Harcourt. He has served as Arbitrator, Mediator or Conciliator in numerous cases across the globe.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVITIES

· Human rights and Pro-Democracy Activist and Social Justice crusade since Secondary School Days. Formed and joined various clubs and associations at secondary school and tertiary levels for the promotion, propagation and defence of Human Rights, Democracy, Social Justice and the Rule of Law.

· Joined Human Rights Activities and Pro-democracy campaigner to agitate against successive Military regimes and bad governance in Nigeria, leading to several detentions since 1986.

· Fought numerous detention cases, getting released and freed from illegal incarcerations and jails of hundreds of Nigerians.

· Cited by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, New York, in its 1989 and 1990 annual reports: “In Defence of Rights: Attack on Lawyers and Judges”.

· Co-founder of the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria (JACON) with late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (Chairman) wherein he was Vice Chairman, Publicity and Publications (2008).

· Co-founder of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), the first organized Human Rights Body in Nigeria, for the protection, propagation and defence of Human Rights of Nigeria (1987).

· Pioneer Director of Legal Services of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), (1987 1992).

 

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The Suspension of Nigeria CBN Governor is it constitutional?.
 

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