January 17, (THEWILL) – Effi traditional rulers council, Okuni community, Ikom LGA of Cross River State, have offered more explanation on the alleged N21 million auction proceeds.
The community explained that contrary to claims by a Calabar-based environmentalist, the auction proceeds have not been mismanaged.
The community also exculpated its lawyer, Ichire Okim, over the allegation of diverting N21 million from the sale of the defunct (Mike’s wood plant company), into his personal pocket, rather than tendering the proceeds to the community.
The spokesperson for Effi community, His Highness Okim Emmanuel Enya Agbor, described the allegation as a false, baseless and calculated attempt to tarnish the good image and bring Okim’s reputation to disrepute.
“We were shocked when we read the said publication alleging that our community lawyer who had been of immense assistance for over two decades diverted the said amount into his private pocket. Our lawyer never sold any property that was worth the amount.
“What he auctioned were only movable items from the said plant, which is worth about four million one hundred and fifty thousand Naira and handed the money to the community.
“The amount is being ploughed in the execution of a town council project. The only money we gave to Okim was his legal fee.
“We just can’t explain where this spurious allegation is coming from, our lawyer is the one who had been assisting us to resolve various community issues, and at no point had we found him wanting. All we seek is peace and not trouble”, he said.
Also speaking, community Head Chief, (HRH) Ntui Ojong Nyambi, stated that the purported publication by the aggrieved environmentalist may have been generated to malign their lawyer, Barr. Okim.
“If anyone is claiming that our lawyer, who we so much cherish, sold a property worth N21 million we don’t know if there is a document to that effect”, the village head said.
An environmentalist, Odey Onyema, on behalf of the Royal Conclave of the community, earlier the lawyer of “gross negligence of duty to the client, the community, bordering on alleged misconduct, as it conflicts with Rules of Professional Conduct for legal practitioners.
Oyama threatened to drag Elder Okim before the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) disciplinary committee for alleged misconduct and denial of clients’ benefit of access to specific judgement in their matter.