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A lawyer who duped client of K48 million faces suspension as Ayuba gets summoned for embezzlement

 

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has landed like a tonne of bricks on two lawyers over their alleged conduct of duping clients of their money.

One of the two lawyers, Wester Kosamu belonging to a Blantyre-based legal firm called Tannalegal & Associates, appeared before MLS disciplinary committee where he has been found guilty of the offences that were levelled against him.

Another popular lawyer, Silvester Ayuba James, has received invitations to appear before the committee.

According to a letter communicating the MLS findings from the disciplinary hearing, Kosam embezzled K48 million from a client whom he was helping to recover K150 million from ADMARC.

“You were engaged by Mr Changa to recover the some of K150,000,000 from ADMARC. Upon the receipt of that money, you and Mr. Henry Phoya, SC, asked Mr. Changa to lend you the some of K48,000,000 out of the amount received. You promised to pay back by 20th December, 2020. However, you have failed to pay back the said some despite numerous reminders,” reads part of the letter.

During the disciplinary inquiry, Kosamu is said to have denied knowing Mr. Henry Mphoya (a senior lawyer and politician) thereby denying that he borrowed the money from the client. However, evidence from inquiry busted the lies of Mr. Kosamu as Mr. Mphoya’s signature appeared along Mr. Kosamu’s signature on an agreement letter which carried Mr. Kosamu’s company letterhead and this letter was showcasing the two as borrowers of the money from the now duped client.

Upon finding Mr. Kosam guilty of duping his client, the MLS has suspended him from practice for a period of six months and the client is left with an opportunity to sue his duping lawyer to recover his money.

On the other hand, Sylvester Ayuba James is yet to appear before the disciplinary committee to answer similar charges of duping his client through embezzlement and failure to provide competent representation.

According to a letter inviting Ayuba to a disciplinary hearing, Ayuba stands accused of duping his client, identified as Mr. Gama, of K31 million.

“You were engaged by Mr. Gama to represent him in a civil suit matter where he was sued by one of his suppliers. Mr. Gama alleges that you advised him to deposit K60,000,000 into your personal account while waiting for the reconciliation with the supplier,” reads part of the letter to Ayuba.

The letter further informs that Mr. Gama deposited the K60 million into Ayuba’s personal account and as reconciliation was taking long, while waiting for it Mr Gama withdrew K29 million through Ayuba from his (Ayuba’s) personal account.

Following this withdrawal, Mr Gama was informed by Ayuba that there was a court ruling requiring Mr Gama to pay K46 million to his supplier who had taken him to court. The letter further informs that Ayuba did not release any of the money to his client or make the payment expect allegedly sending K11 million to Kawelo lawyers who were representing Mr. Gama’s supplier in the case.

It is further said that Ayuba has been dogging the meeting with MLS, a behaviour that MLS has described as fitting a further disciplinary action.

 

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