The Effi community of Okuni in Ikom LGA of Cross River State has ordered a lawyer who is also a native, Elder Icheri Imo Okim, to account for N21 million said to be proceeds from the auctioning of a property that used to belong to Mikewood Plant Industry situated in the community.
A spokesperson for the community, Prince Odey Oyama, said the royal conclave of the traditional council of chiefs, comprising other sub-authorities also accused the lawyer of refusing to disclose full details of the auction transactions to them.
According to Oyama, the lawyer also refused to avail them of the court judgment which was in their favour, and which authorised the auctioning of the property for the community.
In several letters made available to VELOXNEWS, the lawyer was further accused of gross negligence of duty to the client and alleged misconduct which conflicts with rules of professional conduct for legal practitioners.
Oyama disclosed that they will drag Icheri Imo Okim before the Nigerian Bar Association’s disciplinary committee for alleged misconduct and denial of the clients the 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 of the defunct firm, had used his position to access facts about the firm with which he allegedly, using his position as the community’s lawyer, manipulated court-ordered auction of the firm’s property.

Oyama alleged: “We have written several letters to Elder Icheri Imo Okim who is also an indigene of Effi village and who claimed he had power of attorney to act as our community lawyer, to avail us the said power of attorney for sighting.
“We have demanded of him to avail the community of the full transaction details of the auctioning of the said property which reportedly amounted to N21m but he has refused to do so.
“We understand that he allegedly shared part of this auction proceeds with certain persons in the community to pacify them.”
Reacting, the lawyer denied all the allegations by Oyama, the lawyer, in a letter dated, 12 October 2022, wrote: “I am under no obligation to disclose or divulge a client/solicitor brief to any person or purported conclave. Rules of professional engagement prohibit me from such.”
Okim disclosed that the only money he got was the judgement fees from the auction and threatened court action against Odey Oyama.
Okim in his rebuttal said: “[All] what my brother alleged are not true at all; they are all rumours. I am a lawyer with 30 years of practice and have been acting 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 during my wedding.
“It is not also true that I gave monies to the youth president and others. It was one Missang Edim, 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.”
Speaking on the matter, former Commissioner of Police Lawrence Eko Alobi and Mr Sam Nsoh, secretary of the Effi community in Calabar and general manager of Canaan FM, both blamed Oyama for taking their issue to the media.



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