There was a mild drama at the 14th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture on Monday when protesters mobbed Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and stopped him from entering the venue of the programme.
The incident happened at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, venue of the lecture organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch.
The theme of the lecture was: “Federalism, Restructuring and Good Governance: Striking a Balance.”
Ozekhome, who arrived the venue at 1:10 p.m., was stopped from entering the hall by the protesters comprising youths and students.
They milled round the lawyer, composed songs in defamatory words and stopped him from entering the hall.
The incident forced the keynote speaker, a former Dean of Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Demola Popoola, to stop his paper presentation for about 20 minutes.
Those at the high table were the former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Ovie Kokori who was chairman of the event and the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiu Orimadegun Kasali; among others.
The protesters accused the lawyer of defending Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose; former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and Senate President, Bukola Saraki; among others.
Mike Ozekhome Disgraced At 14th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Symposium . . Mike Ozekhome, lawyer, renowned for his defence of "corrupt" leaders and politicians was today embarrassed by activists in annual Gani Fawehinmi symposium. . . According to Saharareporters, activists present at the event blocked entrance to the event to prevent him from entering but Ozekhome was smuggled into the event and to front row by organisers of the event. . . Ozekhome is presently defending wife of the former President of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan in a $15.5million laundering case, defended Dino Melaye in his recall suit and also currently undergoing trial on a money laundering case. . . Activists from the labour group and students union insisted Ozekhome would not be allowed to partake in the event claiming his presence is an insult to struggle and legacy of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. . . Ozekhome used to be part of Human Rights movement before his switch to defending the elites and corrupt personnel within the political atmosphere. . . The event was put on hold for about 10 minutes as chant of ‘Ozekhome, Ole!’ (English translation: Ozekhome, thief) filled the venue. . . It took the timely intervention of respected lawyer and senior human activist, Femi Falana (SAN), veteran journalist, Richard Akinola, Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja Branch Adesina Ogunlana and host of others before the event could continue. . . Mike Ozekhome was listed as one of the guests in 14th Fawehinmism, a position which many in the human activist circle considered as being disrespectful to the memory of Gani Fawehinmi.