Mike Ozekhome Biography
High Chief (Dr) Mike Agbedor Abu Ozekhome, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the Akpakpa Vighi Vighi of Edo land, Constitutional Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, pro-democracy campaigner, Author, Social Justice Crusader, Notary Public of Nigeria, Knight of the Order of St. Mulumba (KSM), Motivational Speaker and Public Affairs Analyst, hails from Iviukwe town in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo state, Nigeria. His late parents, Chief Abu Ozekhome and Madam Alimoh Abu Ozekhome were revered Chiefs and notable Community leaders.
Dr Mike Agbedor Abu Ozekhome, SAN, attended St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Iviukwe, between 1964-1969, after which he attended St. Peter’s College, Agenebode, from 1970-1974. He concluded his secondary education in flying colors and obtained his WASC with top grades in 1974. He was the best student in 1974, he was at Baptist Academy, Lagos, for his Higher School Certificate (HSC) course in 1975, before he gained admission to the University.
He was offered admission simultaneously into three renowned Nigerian Universities, UNN, Nsukka to read Mass Communications, University of Ibadan, to read Political Science and the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife, to read English language. He opted for the University of Ife, with a student population of about 15,000, to read English language. As a result of his foresight and resilient nature, he succeeded in changing his course of studies from English Department to the faculty of Law in the same University, losing, voluntarily, one academic year in the process to actualise his passion and dream of the Legal profession. Throughout his University days, he was a leading student activist, the best debater and one time acting Speaker of the student’s parliament, the Student Representative Council (SRC).
High Chief (Dr) Mike A. A. Ozekhome, SAN, graduated in flying colours with Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree in 1980. He became a Barrister at Law in 1981 after graduating from the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos. He did his pupilage and vacation attachment with “Peoples Lawyer”, late Chief Kanmi Isola Osobu.
Dr Mike Ozekhome started his professional legal practice as a Youth Corper posted to Yola, the capital city of the then Gongola State, now Adamawa and Taraba States, but got redeployed to the Federal Ministry of Justice, Lagos, as he felt his services and bubbling energy were grossly underutilized. He was subsequently seconded to the then National Provident Fund (now Nigerian Social Insurance and Trust Fund (NSITF), where he served as state counsel. Thus, while working as state counsel, he joined the legendary Chief Gani Fawehinmi on a part time basis to unleash part of his bubbling professional energy and zeal. This was later to sharpen his advocacy skills and build a stronger platform for his fiery human rights activism and dogged defence of people’s rights.
In 1982, Dr Mike Ozekhome was back to his alma mater at Ife, to pursue his masters’ degree programme. He also joined the staff of the faculty of law to teach law. He therefore lectured simultaneously as he pursued his masters’ Degree programme. Many of his 1982/1984 Law students are today SANS, judges of superior courts, Ambassadors, top Military and Police Captains of Industry and top civil servants.
He bagged his LL.M in 1983 and immediately went back to his first love, advocacy in the busy Chambers of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, to work first as a junior counsel, later as a senior counsel and finally as the Deputy Head of Chambers by 1985.
Fondly called “Ozek Baba” and “Mobile Dictionary” by Late Chief Gani Fawehninmi for his advocacy skills, sheer brilliance, lucidity and clarity of thought, scholastic disposition and rich vocabulary in the English language, Ozekhome soon stamped his authority on human rights and anti-military cases, handling detention cases in far away places as Jos, Kaduna, Yola, Umuahia, Enugu, Abuja, Ibadan, Makurdi, Maiduguri, Calabar, Port-Harcourt, Owerri, Uyo, Akure, Aba, Warri, Kaduna, Benin City and Kano.
As a renowned Constitutional lawyer, High Chief Mike Ozekhome, has handled and participated in many epochal and sensational cases that have shaped Nigerian Legal jurisprudence and enthroned Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law. A few of them include the Oil Subsidy case, Umanah Umanah (“Port-Harcourt money-man”) case, the CLO 500 detainees case, the on shore/ off shore suit, 36 Houses of Assembly against Senate suit, the General Zamani Lekwot death sentence case, the Gani Fawehinmi “Gwagwalada five” case, the Nzeribe vs Senate case, the ICPC vs senate case, the Mike Ozekhome vs. President Ibrahim Babangida case, the Anyim vs Akanbi case, the Uduehi vs. N’Abba case, the Alamieyeseigha series of cases in Yenegoa, Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, etc, the Dr. Daboh vs National Assembly case, FRN vs Fani Kayode case, the numerous cases of FRN vs Chief Kenny Martins, Senator Bob vs. Chief Imeh Albert Akpan, George Odom vs. Senator Barigha – Amage case, F.R.N vs. El Rufir & 2 Ors, Daar Communications Ltd vs. NBC, etc. the Fidelity Bank vs. Communication cases, the Salami vs NJC case etc. He has handled numerous cases on election petitions and those bordering on sensitive constitutional law issues.
In 1986, Sir, Mike Ozekhome, founded the law office of Mike Ozekhome’s Chambers. He has offices of his chambers in Lagos, Abuja, Benin City and Agenebode. He coordinates the activities of the various law offices from the Head office, Lagos and on internet from any part of the World. He also ensures that he is physically present in other branches of the firm to lead his juniors in major cases.
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