Dust Continues To Swirl Around Controversial Ugwuonye
By Iwedi Ojinmah 4 months ago
Emeka Ugwuonye always seems to be in the news and unfortunately, of late at least, it is seemingly for the wrong reasons.
Now there have been repeated insinuations on social media that Ugwuonye is still a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and commands all entitlements and rights accorded to its members.
This is not true.
The last we had officially heard from him (through his lawyers) was when his request for bail was denied by an Abuja High Court, and he was returned to Kuje Prison, where he sits accused of a sundry of crimes of which the most grievous is murder.
Before that, the Harvard trained Lawyer had starred as the leading man in various court cases both in the US and here in Nigeria mostly playing the villain.
Karma would eventually catch up with him resulting in his disbarment by the Attorney Grievance Commission in Maryland for duping clients, and subsequently also in New York and Washington DC about nine years ago.
The trend would continue here in Nigeria where the Chief Prosecutor of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) at the LPDC, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) found Ugwuonye liable for fraud.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court of Nigeria struck his name off in an act also known as ‘due process’ from the legal practitioner’s roll.
In a letter from the Supreme Court dated 28th April 2018 and signed by Gertrude B. Bari Nyana, Esq, on behalf of the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, which was titled - "Re-BB/LPDC/217/16 Nigerian Bar Association V. Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye" - she advised:
“This is to notify you of a notice issued by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee to the effect that your name be struck off the Roll of Legal Practitioners, after you were tried and found guilty of infamous conduct in the course of the performance of your duty as a legal practitioner as set out in count 1, of the Complaint, contrary to Rules 23 and 55 of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession 2007 and punishable under Section 12-(1)-(a) of the Legal Practitioners Act as amended."
The notice equally stated that in the absence of an appeal after the stipulated time within which to appeal had lapsed, Mr. Ugwuonye's name was validly struck off the roll of legal practitioners. The letter also unambiguously empasised that Ugwuonye "is not entitled to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”
A response to the Commissioner of Police addressed to Habila Garba Turhak Esq and also signed by Gertrude B. Bari Nyana, Esq on May 14th, 2019 supports the above to the last word.
Related: Great Commanders Of The Biafran War Part I : Colonel EA Etuk
Also attached to the response was the actual "STRUCK OFF DOCUMENT" from April the 24th 2018 with appropriate stamp and relevant signatures
All of these stipulations and orders remain firmly in place so the general public needs to take note.
The Awareness wants to also point out that Mr. Ugwuonye remains innocent of all charges until actually found guilty, something he has vehemently denied. He, at this juncture, has just been charged based on probable cause and denied bail. We wish nothing but that justice prevails.
The Awareness will continue to monitor all developments relating to this case and share them on our pages as soon as the trail starts later on this year.