Ozekhome Receives Pan African Award  for Defending Nigeria’s Democracy 


Alex Enumah in Abuja

Constitutional and human rights lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has been inducted into the hall of fame of the Pan African Heroes Foundation.

The induction, by an American-basedhuman rights organisation, Rectitude International Mission, was in recognition of Chief Ozekhome’s contributions towards the growth and sustenance of democracy and respect for rule of law in Nigeria.

President of Rectitude International Mission, Mrs. Kerzner Rina-Yakuel, who led a delegation to confer the award on the senior lawyer, said the

award was for individuals who not only stood to defend the rule of law in their country, but who had also through legal activism, fought for the enthronement of good governance in the continent.

Mrs. Rina-Yakuel said Ozekhome merited the award because he has been steadfast and always at the forefront, despite the increasing level of human rights abuses in Nigeria, particularly in the last four years.

She was accompanied to Nigeria to carry out the investiture ceremony at Ozekhome’s chambers by the head of Governance Assessment Institute (GAI) in Ghana, Mr. Isaac Rockson.

While accepting the award, Chief Ozekhome, said he was delighted that his modest contributions to the defence of human rights in the country gained the attention of an international organisation.

He described the award as a catalyst that would further spur him to continue to fight against maladministration and rights violations in the country.

Ozekhome said he was worried that the federal government has continued to flout valid court orders relating to the bail of persons that are facing corruption-related charges.

He cited the case of the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, who he said has remained in detention despite the fact that he perfected all the bail conditions that were handed to him by Justice Idris Kutigi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Gwagwalada, Abuja.