Joe Oshie Abang, former Attorney General, Cross River State, has been barred from Law practice on the recommendations of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, Body of Benchers, www.calitown.com can reveal.
In a final direction delivered on January 21, 2021, and referred to in documents sighted as “a succinct statement of fact…”, it was discovered that Abang (the respondent) was engaged as a lawyer by Unity Bank of Nigeria to recover the indebtedness of one Bilwadams Construction Company of Nigeria, a customer of the bank who was indebted to the defunct Bank of the North and Intercity Bank Plc, who merged into Unity Bank.
Hard facts on paper show that he received first, the sum of N6, 666,666. 66 (six million, six hundred and sixty thousand, six hundred and sixty six naira, sixty six kobo) on December 29th, 2010, on behalf of his client but never remitted the money to his clients.
Again, he also received the sum of N66, 666,666.71 (sixty six million, six hundred and sixty six thousand, six hundred and sixty six naira, seventy one kobo). After intensified demand from his clients, he remitted N45million on September 23rd, 2013, with a promise to pay the balance of N23million.
“The respondent without the Petitioner’s express or implied instructions and despite the subsisting judgement with the Petitioner’s customer to pay the sum of N110million in full and final settlement of the outstanding indebtedness which as at July 2013, was in the sum of N392.2million and that till date the Respondent is yet to remit to the Petitioner the outstanding sum of N28.3million” documents clearly state.
Five counts were entered against him and the NBA Disciplinary Panel found that Abang’s conduct constituted “an infraction of the acceptable standard of behaviour or ethics of the Legal Profession…” It was accordingly decided that “…Joe Abang, that is, Abang Joseph Oshie, SCN 020340 (Supreme Court Number), Legal Practitioner, whose name is on the roll call of legal practitioners in Nigeria liable for infamous conduct in the course of his performance of his duty as a legal practitioner…” Accordingly, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court was directed to strike out the name of Abang from the roll call of legal practitioners in Nigeria. The order was signed by Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN, Hon. Justice Hussein Muktar, Hon. Justice Rabi Umar, Ebenezer Obeya, Esq. and Boma Ayomide Alabi, SAN.
Abang, infamously remembered for bragging in the media that he ran the CRS Ministry of Justice from his pocket, has effectively sealed his fate with this development.
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