Re: Request for Clarification
I find your email of November 10, 2006 lacking in substance, candor and sincerity. Ordinarily, I would not dignify it with a response.
I owe you no clarification on my press statement. A simple "English reading exercise" is all you need. I stand by the entire contents of my press release. It was written in English and not in Latin.
If you have an ethics question, consult the Rules of Professional Conduct, or call the Lawyer's Ethics helpline. I do not wish to engage in what appears to be your pattern of frivolous and delusional lawyering. Nor do I wish to lecture you on the perils and consequence of twisted facts and false statements.
My client is represented in his personal capacity, and not in his governmental capacity as President. Further, he is not a party to the Nigeria Airways case- whether personally or in his official capacity. But you already know that "counselor." It appears you have a major problem distinguishing between "apples and oranges."
Lastly, I noticed that your email was sent to me at approximately 1:08 pm, yet within two-hours (at 3:17pm EST), the email's central contents had been uploaded to the public on the front page of www.saharareporters.com. That appears to be record time-- even if the website had a branch office within your office. I am accordingly releasing this email in public domain.
If ever again, you covertly copy the Press on any communication in the cases between us, I will promptly cease all direct email communication with you.
The attached Press Release is self-explantory. If you wish, I will forward you a copy of the Professional Rules as well.
Very truly yours,
Kunle Fagbenle, Esq. Global-Lawyer
Dear Mr. Fagbenle:
It has come to my attention that in a widely publicized correspondence to a media center in America, you recently held yourself out to have been appointed by the President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, as the President's personally attorney globally.
Ordinarily, I should not be interested in who you represent in so far as it does not concern a matter in which I am involved as counsel. However, it is a public record that since December of 2003, you have been a lawyer in a lawsuit filed against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and three of its agencies in the New York federal court, titled AZIKIWE, ET AL. V. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, ET AL., United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Case No. 03-6387. You have remained counsel in that case till present. You have pleaded against the Government of Nigeria in that case. In the complaint in that case you alleged that the Government of Nigeria under this President was involved in racketeering activities and that the Government of Nigeria has engaged in various acts of torture against the law of nations. You filed your case against Nigeria partly under the Alien Torts Claims Act. As you understand these were very serious claims and allegations that you have made against the Government of Nigeria and the administration of President Obasanjo. Since the past two months, we have been mediating this case with a view to settling it. During the mediation process, you have repeatedly accused Obasanjo administration of cross violations of rights. Indeed, I have vigorously defended the Nigerian State against these allegations, honestly believing that you exaggerated your claim against the Government and that your claim is largely frivolous and was a sheer blackmail.
Now, I am puzzled to learn that you are holding yourself out as the personal attorney on "global matters" for the President of Nigeria, even at the same time as you are making global claims against the Government led by the President. I am troubled by this development because I can immediately perceive a serious conflict of interest, and this is in addition to other forms of conflict that I raised several weeks ago, and which has not been addressed by you. If you are the personal attorney of the President on global matters, it will be fair to assume that you are in a position to influence the Government of Nigeria in the process of the resolution of the case pending in New York. This is particularly so because you have previously been warned against improper contacts with the officials of Nigerian Government for the purpose of this case. It would seem that the proper manner to proceed at this point will be for you to withdraw your appearance in the New York case. Otherwise, you should clarify your position and assure me that you have not indeed been appointed as personal attorney to President Obasanjo and that you will not act in such capacity until the case pending in New York has been resolved.
I expect you to treat this matter with necessary urgency, bearing in mind that I do not feel comfortable continuing to mediate the New York case with you if indeed you are in a position to exact influence over the leadership of the same party you are suing in court.
Thank you for the courtesies.
Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire