The Edwin I know! In the Nigerian-American community here, we have individual who have excelled in various professions. One seems to be constantly on my mind whenever I attempt to feature a successful Nigerian, who has made significant impact in the community. In this case, one whose ethics are emblematic of a Pope and who is compassionate, resourceful and protective as a Rhea with rare mental acuity. This person’s unprecedented sense of humor does not obscure his bold and daring qualities like the Navy Seal.
Well, to most of us, logical arguments anchored on facts and temerity, particularly when it’s postulated within our community, seem dreadfully alien, onerous, and sometimes utterly dispiriting. But to Edwin Nnabugwu Nwokocha, Attorney & Counselor at Law, who has practiced law in Texas with an impressive track record, logical arguments are lively and nuanced. In fact, Edwin, who has served numerous community organizations as a legal adviser, breathes logic and uses argument to advance the common good. Arguments, to him, are less obstreperous, but pragmatically palliatives that allow for the emergence of superior ideas and/or skills he has employed to effectively represent many Nigerians in the Diaspora. Thus, Edwin loathes injustice in any setting and will always look for ways to correct anomalies inherent in the system as he lucidly articulates a compelling position.
Atty. Edwin Nnabugwu Nwokocha, the fourth child of late Vincent and Monica Nwokocha of Ugwuele in Uturu, Abia State, was born in Warri Delta State on April 11, 1960. Edwin, who had a humble beginning, attended and completed his primary education at Cedo Primary School in Warri and Ugwuele Community Primary School in Uturu. He proceeded to Boys High School, Isuikwuato, Abia State for his secondary education. As a child, Edwin had a knack for law. Nwokocha said, “As a child, my late father had predicted that I will be a lawyer.” “It was not a surprise to me that I took keen interest to argue my point even as a little child,” he continued. So, when he completed his secondary school, Edwin worked in a law firm. “When I graduated from high school in 1979, I was fortunate to work for Chris Ogunbanjo & Co Solicitors, the first indigenous commercial law firm in Nigeria,” he said. “At Ogunbanjo Law Firm, I worked closely with bright lawyers like Udo Udo Udoma, who later became a Senator, George Etomi who represented Nigeria as Lead Counsel in Geneva, and Emmanuel Idowu who unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Ogun State,” Nwokocha stated. “These bright lawyers taught me the importance of knowing what I want and how the legal profession will help me advocate for my beliefs,” he proceeded. “I learned a lot from the Ogunbanjo Law Firm and my interest in law increased as a result of the task I was assigned to by the supervising lawyer, Barrister Joshua Adekoya,” he revealed. Edwin’s experience in the law firm at an early age widened his horizon and interest. “At earlier stage of my career I was in charge of incorporation of companies both foreign and domestic; I was also responsible to register all loans made by Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB),” he shared. He continued, “It was a responsibility that took me to all state capitals in Nigeria to work with the various State Land Commissioners.” “I also registered companies owned by many prominent Nigerians, including multi corporations,” he said. “Now you can see why I was determined to pursue a law degree,” he offered.
In December 1982, Edwin left Nigeria for the United States to pursue a degree in social sciences. Upon graduation from University of Houston with a political science degree, Edwin proceeded to attend Oklahoma City University School of Law in Oklahoma where he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree in May 1999. Subsequently, he was admitted to Texas Bar in November 1999, licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas.
Giving us a glimpse of his professional career, Edwin said, “Professionally, I believe that I have achieved a lot in spite of the limited resources I have and the age I was when I embarked on practicing law in Texas.” “I did not enter the legal profession to get rich; it has always been my passion to be a lawyer, who understands the craft,” he added. “I have represented various clients in different situations and I have put smiles in the face of many families,” he continued.
Edwin recalled, “When our brother Linus Anamege was killed in a motor accident, I filed suit against the errant driver and obtained a judgment, even though we did not collect on it.” Furthermore, “Remember, the police report had Mrs. Anamege to be at fault, but I was able to change the officer’s position and held the errant driver accountable.”
Touting other accomplishments in the community, Nwokocha said, “When our brother, Nze Ben Nnawuihe was dragged to court by his wife, I felt it was very unfair to subject him to such a disgrace induced by a known home wrecker.” “Prior to getting involved in the case, Nze Nnawuihe lost temporary custody of his children, was ordered to pay child support and was also ordered to move out of his property,” he continued. “At the end, Nze Nnawuihe was granted primary custody of his children and his house was awarded to him, including all equity in the house,” Nwokocha stated. Recently, Nwokocha’s law helped a bereaved woman recover a bereavement assistant. He said, “In spite of the ranting, our client has received $10,000.00 check, $500.00 check for her expenses and an apology from the community association.” On so many occasions, “I have helped many families get out of criminal woes, most of the time at no cost,” Edwin added citing also “I have obtained immigration benefit for my clients when everyone considered it impossible.”
In his practice, he has tried to equalize opportunities and fairness. Edwin said, “In my personal injury practice, I have obtained reasonable recoveries for my clients.” Acknowledging the obvious, the absence of a standardized measurement for success, Nwokocha admitted, “There is no yardstick to measure the accomplishments of a good lawyer, except to state that you have used your professional skill to counsel and obtain satisfactory results for your clients.”
Edwin, a devout Christian, is a member of various organizations in Texas where he has received numerous awards for his generous contributions. “I am a member of Uturu Development Union, DFW, Igbo Community Association of Nigeria, DFW, Abia State Association of Nigeria, DFW and APGA USA,” he volunteered. “I had the honor to serve as President of Uturu Development Union, DFW and the first General Secretary of APGA USA,” he continued. He is also “a member of the Dallas and Texas Bar Association, as well as other professional associations.” His hobbies include attending social events and discussing politics. Edwin is married to Atty. Cordelia Anakwue-Nwokocha and both have seven children.