Barrister Nosa Watson Uhumwangho, the police lawyer in charge of the legal division of Abba Kyari’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), has been placed on administrative leave by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).
According to Uhumwangbo, Kyari forced him to deposit money from a hotel owned by a suspected kidnapping ringleader into his account.
In accordance with Section 22(b) of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules, 2020 and all other enabling provisions, the Disciplinary Committee suspended Uhumwangho, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), from legal practice for a period of five years, beginning on the day the suspension direction was delivered.
The LPDC also directed Uhumwangho to immediately transfer all the monies deposited in his personal account to an identifiable official account of the police authority.
Also, the committee directed the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court to “effect the order (direction) against Uhumwangho and make a notation of the direction against the name of Nosa Watson Uhumwangho on the Roll of Legal Practitioners”.
It also directed, “Bring Notice the direction to Barr Nosa by publishing same in Punch Newspaper and in the Federal Gazette as required by law.
“Serve the direction on the President of the Nigerian Bar Association who will take steps to notify the General Council of the Bar, National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, and other organs of the NBA.
“That the entire judgment encompassing the direction shall be brought to the attention of their Lordships, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Chief Judge of the High Court of FCT, Federal High Court, and the High Courts of all other States of the federation, Grand Khadis and President of Customary Courts of all other States of the Federation and the heads of all courts wherein a legal practitioner is entitled to audience by virtue of his office as a legal practitioner in Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and the entire Attorneys General of the 36 States of the Federation.“That the order shall also be served on the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Imo State and other Commissioner of Police in the respective States of the Federation.”
The direction was the final judgment of the Disciplinary Committee’s hearing of a petition brought against the police lawyer by the counsel for the family of the late Collins Ezenwa Okoronkwo, Justus Uche Ijeoma, Esq.
The petitioner claimed that the police lawyer engaged in behavior unworthy of a lawyer by collecting the revenues from his client’s property and using them for his own benefit.
According to Uhumwangho, Kyari instructed him to deposit N3,075,300 ($3.07 million) into his (Uhumwangho’s) bank from the De-English Hotel in Enugu and another property at 21, Edinburgh Street held by the late Collins Ezenwa, better known as E-Money, an accused kidnapper.
Olukayode Enitan (SAN), Uhumwangho’s attorney, contested the LPDC’s authority to hear the case.
Uhumwangho’s counsel, Olukayode Enitan (SAN) challenged the jurisdiction of the LPDC to hear the case, arguing that Uhumwangho’s act complained against was carried out as part of his police duties.
But the Committee chaired by Justice Ishaq Bello trashed Enitan’s argument and directed Uhumwangho’s five-year suspension.