A certain Mrs. Maryrose Ozoemena Nwadike, said to be a younger sister to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige, in the Anambra State governorship election was said to have been debarred from practicing law in Maryland, the United States for allegedly using her bank account to launder money for one of her elder brothers, presumed to be Chris.
Nwadike was consequently debarred after a Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission was said to have found her guilty for using her escrow account to launder vast sums of money for the said brother and for lying to investigators and the judge when questioned about it.
In the highlight of the commission’s decision, it was stated that the “Respondent claimed that $349,975 wired into her Attorney Trust Account on August 2005 came from (unspecified) personal injury cases and form attorney’s fees and reimbursed expenses in the Dr Ngige Election Tribunal Case(s) in Nigeria.”
The documents of the long trial and investigation, outlined a vast array of infringements and “four year pattern of commingling funds which the Respondent claimed she used in paying for her personal expenses as intentional misappropriation.”
A rather shocking part of the revelation was an alleged disbursement of a staggering sum of $349,975 for bringing a homeless American to delay Ngige's stay in office.
All this was said to have happened at the time the APC candidate was busy selling himself off as the messiah opposed to looting of the state’s treasury by the godfathers and that he was suffering persecution for his principled stand.
In a detailed rendering of the sleaze that Ngige allegedly orchestrated in office through his sister in the US, one of the documents obtained from the courts in Maryland, a copy of which was obtained by THISDAY stated thus:
“Respondent produced only copies of deposit slips and customer receipts from 21 March 2003 through 7 June 2006, monthly bank statements from 1 August 2003 through 31 May 2006, and disbursed checks from 25 April 2003 through 22 May 2006 related to the trust account. Respondent never produced any requested billing statements, ledger cards, or accounting of funds that she received, maintained, and disbursed from her trust account during this period.
“Respondent claimed to have received several deposits, totaling $110,493, in her attorney trust account slated to be transferred to the Ngige campaign, but she failed to provide an accounting reflecting these deposits. The record shows that, on 29 August 2005, she deposited a $120,000 personal check for which Judge Dugan found she offered again no logical or coherent accounting.
“Respondent also transferred $50,000 into her attorney trust account in September 2005, funds which she claimed belonged to Ngige. From 2002 to 2006, Respondent disbursed from the account a total of $134,312.85 prior to making deposits necessary to fund those disbursements. When asked by Bar Counsel to explain several specific instances of this practice, Respondent replied to each inquiry that each premature disbursement was due to an "administrative glitch."
A witness, Anthony Isama, testified that three suspect debits on Respondent's trust account paid to American Express, totaling $7,820, and one check issued from the account to "MBNA," for $35,600, were payments for credit card purchases Respondent made for Ngige's wife. Meanwhile, a further $50,000 cash withdrawal Respondent made from her account on December 4, 2002 was never explained.
In addition, Respondent's refusal even to identify forthrightly Christopher Ngige as her brother was evasive, at best. Respondent stated disingenuously that Ngige merely was "somebody's name."
Even though Ngige was not a client of the Respondents, she asserted an attorney-client privilege and refused to explain her relationship to him. When Isama testified that Ngige is Respondent's brother, Judge
Dugan asked Respondent why she had engaged in such "subterfuge." Respondent kept mute. However, there are speculations that Ngige might be extradited to the US to answer questions arising from the case.
Meanwhile, the Awka Catholic Diocese, Anambra State has denied that Ngige slapped one of the Revered fathers in the diocese during the funeral ceremony of the mother of Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor, the dioceses' main Bishop of Awka. The event which allegedly took place at Nanka, Orumba North council area of the state, the diocese said was a tissue of lies.
The chancellor of the Catholic Diocese, Rev, Dr. Chudi Akaenyi, said at a press conference held at the conference hall of the Saint Patrick’s Catholic church in Awka that during the burial of the Bishop’s mother at Nanka on October 24, a lot of people were there and that people of Ngige’s stature were arranged at the V.I.P section at the reception in the Bishop’s compound.
He said that a Reverend father, Evaristus Ezekwonna was in charge of security and order and was at the gate directing vehicles and or those allowed to go in. When Ngige came with his retinue of aides and police security, he was told that he would not go in with all of them but a few to which he agreed.
Long after Ngige had gone in, three policemen standing at the gate, he explained, became unruly and insisted they would go in to their principal they escorted. Ngige, he said was called to come and identify if they were among his other aides and security personal asked to stay behind.
“He came and said they were not with him and went back to the VIP section. What we heard later was that Ngige slapped a Reverend father. There is no iota of truth in this whole thing and not even the rude policemen slapped our Reverend father,” he said.