A lawyer accused of attempting to extort money from a senator, Andy Uba (APC-Anambra), has dismissed the allegation as false and baseless, saying the dispute between them was over the refusal of the senator to settle his professional fee.
Mr. Uba had in a petition published in the media on April 11 accused his former lawyer, Victor Uwaje, of attempting to extort money from him, stressing that the lawyer had threatened to destroy his reputation.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, however, Mr. Uwaje said his dispute with Mr. Uba began after he helped the senator lift a travel ban against him by the United Kingdom.
Mr. Uwaje said he also settled all cases of fraud levelled against Mr. Uba in the United States, but later discovered that the senator’s secondary school leaving certificates had been forged.
“Sometimes in 2012, I met with Senator Andy Uba who briefed me that he had issues with the UK authorities because he was banned in 2008 from entering the United Kingdom, and being a British citizen and a private investigator, he wanted me to lift the exclusion ban on him from entering the UK.
“I met with him at his Asokoro residence where he gave me the power of attorney duly signed by him, both of us appended our signatures. It was authorising me to work on his behalf and he was going to return the expenses back to me that will assist in lifting the ban on him.
“He also had an arrest warrant against him in the State of Los Angeles, he also gave me a power of attorney in 2015 signed by Senator Andy Uba to lift the arrest warrant against him.
“After everything, I sought for my professional fees and sent it to him. It kept lingering, he refused to pay. So, at the end of the day, I filed a court process against him, seeking for payment of my professional fees. The amount in question is £1.8 million,” said Mr. Uwaje.
The lawyer added that the case in court is a legal matter filed in 2016. He added that given the court case, the allegation of blackmail should not have emerged.
“In the Vanguard of yesterday, Andy Uba said I was trying to blackmail him to extort money from him and I want to put the records straight about my dealings with Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba.
“We started from 2016, we have been in court since 2016, so I don’t see the reason he is alluding to blackmail, because we are in court, he was served through the Clerk of the National Assembly. I don’t understand how a case in court is blackmail”.
Mr. Uwaje said he found out about Mr. Uba’s alleged false declaration of asset after studying the documents given to him by the senator and investigating it.
“He presented a lot of documents to be presented to the UK authorities, some forged documents, WAEC certificate and others, which were part of the documents filed in court.
“WAEC confirmed that the certificate Nnamdi Uba is parading is a fake document and I expect the authorities to look into this vehemently because forgery in the National Assembly is alarming and I feel the media is crucial to straightening issues in Nigeria.
“I have received several threats phone calls from the UK, different phone calls from people claiming to be his agents threatening my life.
Mr. Uba was not available to speak on the lawyer’s claims.
The lawmaker’s spokesperson, Onyi Umegibulu, also declined to speak on the issue when contacted on phone.
“I know about it, but I cannot say anything now, since the case is in court”, Mr. Umegibulu told our reporter.