By our reporter
Effi village of Okuni in Ikom LGA of Cross River State has accused a lawyer, Elder Icheri Imo Okim of auctioning property and allegedly diverted the reported proceeds of over N21 Million that ought to have gone to the community
They are also accusing him of refusing to disclose full details of the auction transactions, refusing to allow them access to the court judgment that authorized the auctioning as well as the power of autonomy purportedly donated to him by the said Community.
One Prince Odey Oyama, an environmentalist, who said he was speaking on behalf of the Royal Conclave in letters sighted by our reporter accused the lawyer of “gross negligent of duty to the client, i.e. the community, bordering on alleged misconduct as it
conflicts with Rules of Professional conduct for legal practitioners..”
Oyama said they will drag Icheri Imo Okim before the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) disciplinary committee for alleged misconduct and denial of clients benefit of access to specific judgment in their matter.
Oyama alleged that the lawyer, having once worked for Kanu Agabi chambers in Calabar, who once were clients to the defunct firm, MikeWood Plant Industry situated in the community, had used his position to access facts about the firm with which he allegedly manipulated as community lawyer when a court ordered auctioning of its property.
“We have written several letters to Elder Icheri Imo Okim who is also an indigene of our Effi village and who claimed he had power of attorney to act as our community lawyer, to avail us the said power of attorney, as well as full transaction details of the auctioning of the said property that belonged to MikeWood Plant Industry, which reportedly amounted to N21m but he has refused to do so.
“We understand that he allegedly shared minute part of this auction proceeds to certain persons in the community to pacify them.”
But in an interview, the lawyer denied all the allegations by Oyama who purportedly represented the Royal Conclave.
In a letter dated, 12 October 2022, he said “I am under no obligation to disclose or divulge a client/solicitor brief to any person or purported conclave. Rules of professional engagement prohibits me from such.”
He disclosed that v v the only money he got was the judgement fees from the auction.
He has threatened to slam a legal action against Odey Oyama for falsehood.
“What my brother has alleged are not true at all. Oyama has been acting on rumours. I am a lawyer of 30 years practice.
I had acted as solicitor to the community and got judgement against the said company. We held several meetings with elders and chiefs of the community over the auction. The only money that came to me legitimately is my legal fees. Oyama is behaving this way because I intervened when the community disclaimed him and refused that a royal father should kneel before him to apologise over alleged defamatory documents. Oyama was my Best Man 25 years ago.v
“It is not also true that I gave monies to youth president and others. It was one Missang, a colleague, whom I asked to represent me at some of the legal hearings, that I gave money when he appealed that he had some challenges..”
Former commissioner of police Lawrence Eko Alobi and secretary of the Effi community in Calabar, general manager of Canaan FM, Mr Sam Nsoh had blamed Oyama for involving the press over family issues, disclosing that they were going to issue a statement on the matter after the elders met in Calabar, which never came.