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Saturday, December 8, 2018



By :Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.

I have followed the events of the last 48hours with profound circumspection as it relates to the purported filing of Charges against the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro SAN,over legal fees paid to his Chambers ,by his Clients ,Akwa Ibom State Government and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State !

If indeed ,the EFCC goes ahead and Charge our revered President this Morning ,just for receiving his legitimate Income ,the Bar would have  foisted on itself ,a fait accompli,so the line to bandied about by Security Agencies will be:"If EFCC can charge the NBA President, so who are you ,that you can not be charged ".

Lawyers are living in dangerous times in Nigeria!We have kept silence and allowed this Fascist Government deny people of their rights and freedom with impunity, but now we are the victims .

The Law on the Matter is very Clear.The Evidence Act recognises every Communication and transaction between a Lawyer and  a Client as Privileged Communication, which should not be divulged for any reason !The same Law provides a Similar safeguard for Doctors and Clergy !

The Legal Practitioner's Act , does not give restrictions ,on how much a  Lawyer can  Charge his Client or whether you will agree on a specific fee before Services are rendered !

What the Law abhors is champerty !

The recent  cases  of Attorney General of the  Federation v.  the Registered Trustees of the NBA and Central Bank of Nigeria v. Diamond Bank of Nigeria PLC re-enforces the Law that Legal Practitioners under the Law are not within financial Scrutiny ,as it relates to transactions with their Clients, under the SCUML, a financial protocol ,put in place to fight financial crimes and track proceeds of crime   !

The EFCC should stop fighting Lawyers who earn legitimate Income and beam  their flashlights on Politicians ,who manage or mismanage our common wealth  !

Some unresolved financial puzzles  the EFCC should answer to :

Where are the Billions of Naira and Millions of Dollars ,seized by the EFCC from alleged corrupt politicians and fraudsters ;

What is  the state of the Osborn Towers Case ;

The Case of the Millions of Naira allegedly missing in the Tenure of former SGF Lawal;

The recently indicated missing money running into billions declared missing by the House of Reps of Emergency Funds ;

The Many Petitions pending at the EFCC against the former Governors of Rivers ,Lagos and Edo States ,all Now Party Chieftains of the Ruling Party ;

The various investigative  reports of Government indicting some high profile Politicians ;

The Arms Procurement Scam ;

With all these behemoth of sleaze ,slicing through our psyche ,the EFCC is chasing shadows !

"Rome was in flames ,Emperor Nero was chasing Rats "

An Apposite question to ask is ,who investigates the EFCC, who audits them ?

They are now a Law unto themselves ,detaining persons for weeks or sometimes months with out trial !If we do not rise against this reign of tyranny, being unleashed, by the EFCC, may we not be victims in the Scenario depicted in the satirical poem ,"Not my Business",by Prof. Niyi Osundare !

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