Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested a fake lawyer, Thankgod Okachi Echem, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for defrauding his “client” of N7 million. Okachi, who confessed to be a school certificate holder, was arrested based on a petition to the EFCC by one of his “clients,” Mr. Jonny Wali, who alleged that the fake lawyer defrauded him of the said amount being part of the money awarded him by a Rivers State High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, as compensation in a legal battle involving him and the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria now Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company.
However, in seeking redress for the non-payment of the money, Wali employed the legal services of Thankgod Okachi Echem and Felix Agbarake (Thank God/Felix & Co. Norugema Chambers). In 2015, the court ruled in his favour and granted another sum of N8 million as the accumulated interest on the initial N10 million, bringing the total compensation for Wali to N18 million, which the power company eventually remitted to the beneficiary through Echem’s chambers. Trouble, however, crept into the whole matter when Echem (who was later found to be a fake lawyer) connived with his colleague, Felix Agbarake, and opened an account with the First City Monument Bank, FCMB, in the name of Wali, without his consent. A sum of N7 million was subsequently paid into the account and immediately withdrawn by the fake lawyer.
Vanguard learnt that when Echem was confronted with these facts, he owned up and confessed that he was just a School Certificate holder posturing as a lawyer, prompting the EFCC to conduct a search on his premises, which yielded some incriminating documents including a wig and robe belonging to Thank God Okachi Echem.
The Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed last night that Echem and his accomplice, Agbarake, would be charged to court soon. Many fake lawyers abound in Nigeria just as fake journalists, giving serious concerns to both professions.