A Harvard trained legal practitioner Mr. Emeka Ugwuonye has been disbarred in Nigeria following a similar fate he suffered in the United States of America.
The lawyer known for his notoriety was disbarred as a practicing lawyer in Nigeria following petitions of misconduct filled against him.
Mr. Emeka Ugwuonye’s problems started in the US where he helped the Nigerian embassy sell off it’s real estate holdings but he is alleged to have converted part of the funds totalling $1.55m to personal use. A Maryland judged ruled against him and directed that he pay damages to the tune of over $6m. Barrister. Ugwuonye than fled to Nigeria where he becam a Human Rights activist. He took up the case of embattled leader of Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and also the dethroned former Miss Anambra, Chidinma Okeke.
The notorious lawyer got into trouble as a legal representative of a missing person, Mrs. Charity Aiyedogbon aka Deepdeal ChaCha Dehammer, who dissapeared on May 10, 2016. Mr. Ugwuonye through his group, due Process Advocates (DPA) claimed that he has evidence that she was was killed by her ex husband, David Aiyedogbon.he said: “I now have overwhelming evidence that Mr. David Aiyedogbon killed his wife, Chacha. David has an idea of the kind of evidence at my disposal.” In another post, he said: “this is the headless and dismembered body of Charity Aiyedogbon (posting a corpse on his DPA Facebook group). DPA has been able to identify this as her body within the limits of resources at our disposal.” “I will describe David as a low-life and cold-blooded murderer of his own wife. The only reason I would not go further to describe David in the most despicable language that he rightly deserves is that I would rather focus my argument on points that would lead to justice for Chacha…the issue is not whether Emeka’s account is accurate or not, but, rather, the issue is whether Emeka has evidence that would send David to the hangman. Yes, I do…” When invited by the Police to produce evidence, after several meetings, Ugwuonye was unable to produce any, to substantiate his claims. Ugwuonye is already facing a N10billion defamation suit filed by Mr. David Aiyedogbon. The Suit, with number CV/2750/16, before Justice Peter Kekemeke of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 14, Apo Abuja, also prays that the defendant be ordered to pay the cost of the suit. Similarly, the other two Abuja-based lawyers, Nsikak Udoh and Farouk Khamagam, charged alongside Ugwuonye are said to have confessed in writing to the Police that they forged the signature of their missing client, Charity Aiyedogbon in a suit filed at Federal High Court, Lokoja and served on Mr. David Aiyedogbon, two weeks after the disappearance of Charity Aiyedogbon. The suit has since been resolved in favour of Mr. Aiyedogbon. Their trouble started when, those believed to be close to the missing woman were quoted as saying that she went missing on the 9th of May, 2016, but her lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udoh, handling a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lokoja on 29th April, 2016 against 29 respondents, including her biological children and former husband, David Aiyedogbon, claimed she (Charity) came to his house on the 18th of May, 2016. Following questions arising from the lawyer’s claim of meeting with the missing woman eight days after her purported disappearance, the Police invited him for questioning, wherein he allegedly confessed that her signature was forged. Mr. Aiyedogbon sued Ugwuonye in a N10billion defamation suit and the police asked him to produce evidence to substantiate his claims, which he could not.
Mr. Ugwuonye was disbarred in Nigeria following a petition from the younger sister of widow who he converted her apartment to personal use. He received the hammer of the Nigerian bar after he claimed that the widow was his fiancee and that she owed him to the tune of $100,000. This goes against the ethics of the legal profession as a legal representative ought not to have vested interest in a matter of litigation and also of which he failed to make known to the petitioner at the time of briefing.
In the light of this, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), the disciplinary body that deals with professional misconduct among lawyers in Nigeria ordered the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to strike out Mr. Ugwuonye’s name. It would be recalled that on May 22, 2017, his name was published in an advertorial, signed by LDPC Secretary H.A. Turaki, in a national newspaper.
The legal notice was addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the President of the National Industrial Court, the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, the Grand Khadi of the Federal Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, all the Chief Judges of the High Courts of States, Attorney-Generals of the states and the Federation, all Grand Khadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal and all Presidents of the Customary Courts of Appeal of states and the federation.
This means that the disbarred lawyer can no longer practice the legal profession in Nigeria and the United States.