Nigerian lawyer indicted for fraud in the UK makes list of “suitably qualified candidates” as judge of country’s second highest court –

March 27, 2017


INVESTIGATION: Lawyer indicted for fraud in the UK nominated as judge of Nigeria’s Court of Appeal  –


On February 22, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, published the names of 12 lawyers it said had been shortlisted for appointment as Court of Appeal judges after an intensive two-day screening exercise that involved 187 lawyers.

In a statement announcing the shortlist, the NBA explained that the exercise was in response to the call by the President of the Court of Appeal for it to nominate “suitably qualified candidates” to be considered for appointment as judges into the second highest court in the country.

A PREMIUM TIMES investigation has revealed that one of the finalists, Rita Chris-Garuba, formerly Rita Kuku, in 2000, was indicted for a series of professional misconduct, including putting clients’ funds to her own use, and a £250,000.00 mortgage fraud in the United Kingdom where she worked as a solicitor.

After an indictment, the Law Society of England and Wales described Mrs. Chris-Garuba as lacking the “integrity”, probity and trustworthiness” expected of a legal practitioner, and subsequently struck her name off the Roll of Solicitors.

The Law Society is the professional body of solicitors in England and Wales. It regulates conducts of solicitors as well as protects the public from dishonest practitioners.
The investigation into the accounts of her law firm, Temple Chambers, by the Law Society’s Monitoring and Investigative Unit began in July 1997, at the time when Mrs. Chris-Garuba was a registered foreign lawyer in the UK handling investment matters.
The tribunal was told that Mrs. Chris-Garuba obtained a mortgage by deception.
In March 1996, she purchased a property at luxury High View Gardens, Cyprus with the help of a £150,000.00 mortgage obtained from Preferred Mortgages using her full name at the time, Rita Ifeyinwa Kuku.
However, she fell short of her mortgage repayment and accumulated arrears.
Not wanting to lose the property due to accumulated arrears, she arranged for the sale of the property to herself, using her maiden name, Chukwuma, with a mortgage advance from another company, Abbey National Building Society.

However, the date of birth she used when applying for the first mortgage with her married name was different from the one she used when applying with her maiden name.

When applying for the new mortgage, she used an identity card that identified her as a marketing consultant instead of a lawyer. She also used different addresses in the applications.

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MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017. 6:00 p.m. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “Nigerian lawyer indicted for fraud in the UK makes list of “suitably qualified candidates” as judge of country’s second highest court –”

  1. Fatai Bakare Says:

    This is a clear-cut indication that the security agencies do not check the declarations made on CCB forms filled for election and political appointments. We hear of certificate forgeries all the time, including the ongoing saga of did-he, did he-not involving a sitting senator whose case may go off the front burners because the university he supposedly attended has stepped in to say he “used another name”. We remember the case of a state governor whose name might not have been on a graduating list magically surfaced in another!

    Our case is getting hopeless in the country. Or what does one call a situation that finds unscrupulous people occupying high seats in governance?



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thanks for this, massive thanks to outfits like PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA that keep dredging out all the murk that passes for governance in Nigeria.

      How could the woman’s name get on such a list? What kind of judgments would she deliver? How could she or would she be able to give (fairness) when she has, during her adult/professional life, not been one to walk on the right side of the law?

      Hopefully, this “society woman”, albeit a rotten egg of such, will finally be cast away as one who has contributed to Nigeria’s negative image.




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