A former aide of Nigeria’s vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, has written the Nigerian Bar Association’s president Paul Usoro over an alleged extortion scheme orchestrated by an Abuja lawyer. Mr Wokoma, a politically-connected businessman from the southern state of Rivers accused Victor Giwa, a lawyer with ties to the suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of attempting to extort huge sums from his company Damijay Integrated Services Limited.
Mr Wokoma, who is close to Vice-President Osinbajo and one of the pillars of the controversial N-Power program, made the allegations in a letter personally signed by the businessman. The petition was dated August 20, 2020.
“I am Mr Donald Wokoma, a Director in Damijay Integrated Services Limited. Sometimes (sic) in 2018, I engaged the legal services of Victor Giwa, Esq. upon discovering that a restriction was placed on our account domiciled with Access Bank PLC (then Diamond Bank). After making his inquiry, Barrister Victor Giwa (whose phone number is: 08033072332) discovered and so informed me that it was at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] that the said restriction of ‘Post No Debit’ was slammed on the said account without a court order.”
Mr Wokoma said that after he received this piece of information, he immediately filed a suit at a Federal Capital Territory Federal High Court Justice O.C Agbaza in suit no FCT/HC/CV/2908/2018 wherein the Court ordered that the account be unfrozen.
Mr Wokoma said that Mr Giwa told him that he would need to pay 75 million naira to have the account unfrozen and that after agreeing to this, he signed three cheques of 25 million naira each.
However, Mr Wokoma said that he was forced to write a petition to the Attorney-General of the Federation after Mr Giwa informed him that the seventy-five million naira had been rejected by the EFCC and that a new demand was made for the sum of 40 per cent of the funds domiciled in his account, which came to about a hundred million naira.
Mr Wokoma said that on August 18, 2020, he was invited to the Justice Salami panel investigating Mr Ibrahim Magu, the suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where he presented audio evidence of his conversation with Mr Giwa.
“In the said recorded audio, Victor Giwa is trying to convince me to issue the cheques informed me that he has met with Mr. Ibrahim Magu on the matter and because of that he was ok,” wrote Mr Wokoma.
Mr Wokoma asked Paul Usoro, the president of the Nigeria Bar Association to take decisive action on the matter. He said:
“1. The Nigerian Bar Association investigates Barrister Victor Giwa in clear breach of Rule 14 of Rules of Professional Conduct, 2007, refused to oblige me with the documents pertaining to my case which I needed to support my petition to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation despite my repeated demands to that effect and despite his professional duty of “responding as promptly as reasonably as possible to request for information by clients.”
- The Nigerian Bar Association investigates why Barrister Victor Giwa, despite his professional duty “of devotion and dedication to the cause of his client and to act in manner consistent with the best interest of the client”, decided to join my oppressors to kneel on my neck despite the favourable Court judgement he was under a duty to enforce against my known adversaries.
- The Nigerian Bar Association upon comprehensive investigation into those arrays of infamous conduct outlined herein and especially as contained in the supporting affidavit meets out appropriate sanctions against the person of Barrister Victor Giwa so as not to allow his odiferous conducts, being complained of here, drag the image of the entire legal profession to the mud of ignominy.”