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Supreme Court debars lawyer, strikes out name from record

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has debarred a Lagos-based lawyer, Ugwuonye Ephraim Chukwuemeka and deleted his names from her roll of legal practitioners in the…

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has debarred a Lagos-based lawyer, Ugwuonye Ephraim Chukwuemeka and deleted his names from her roll of legal practitioners in the country.

This was contained in a letter dated 24th April, 2018, entitled: Re-BB/LPDC/217/16 Nigerian Bar Association V. Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye; with reference number: 197/SCN/LIT/100118, and addressed to Euphraim C. Ugwuonye. It was signed on behalf of the Chief Registrar by Gertrude B. Bari-Nyana Esq. and made available to journalists in Abuja.

The letter reads: “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 said notice is dated 22nd day of May, 2017 and in the absence of an appeal after the stipulated time within which to appeal has lapsed, the name UGWUNONYE EPHRAIM CHUKWUEMEKA is hereby STRUCK OFF the Roll of Legal Practitioners

“UGWUNONYE EPHRAIM CHUKWUEMEKA is not entitled to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Any letter issued to you before now, with regards to your enrolment status is null and void, with immediate effect.

“Please, remain assured of the Chief Registrar’s esteemed professional regards.”

It will be recalled that in a matter of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (Body of Benchers) held in Abuja, between the Nigerian Bar Association (Complainant) and Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye (Respondent), before: J.D. Dauda, SAN (Chairman), Hon. Justice M. Umukoro, CJ, Delta State, Hon. Justice P.D. Damulak, CJ, Plateau State, Yusuf Ali, SAN, E.C.Ukala, SAN, Tijjani Inuwa-Dutse and Hon. Ahmed Mustapha Goniri, AG, Yobe State, Mr. Ugwuonye was found guilty of infamous conduct.

The disciplinary action was taken following a petition written by one Ms. Victoria Ekweani who alleged that she engaged the services of Mr. Ugwuonye to secure and protect her interest as next-of-kin in the estate of her late sister, one Ms. Ifeoma Ekweani.

The petitioner however alleged that Ugwuonye failed to execute his brief, but rather filed an application at the Enugu State Probate Registry for the issuance of Letters of Administration to himself in his purported capacity as Fiancée and creditor to the deceased.

Ms. Ekweani’s petition was however investigated by the Nigerian Bar Association Disciplinary Panel ‘B’, Lagos.

The Body, in its ruling then, ordered the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court to strike out Ugwuonye’s name from the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria.

See the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s letter below:

 

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