Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee Withdraws SAN-rank From Senior Lawyer

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee says it has stripped a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ogunba, of the SAN rank.

The committee, in a statement by its Secretary and the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadizatu Mustapha, dated January 11, 2018, said it found merit in a petition alleging professional misconduct against the senior lawyer.

According to the statement, the petition leading to the withdrawal of Ogunba’s rank as a SAN was authored by Honeywell Group.

The firm was said to have accused Ogunba of instituting “multiplicity of proceedings before different judges of the Federal High Court on the same subject matter with the deliberate aim of abusing the processes of court and derailing the course of justice.”

Mustapha said after investigating the petition, the LPPC sub-committee “decided that the petition was meritorious,” which culminated in the LPPC’s decision to withdraw the SAN rank from Ogunba at its 129th plenary.

However, a letter from the Nigerian Bar Association dated August 5, 2016, made available to our correspondent by Ogunba’s law firm, indicated that the NBA had earlier absolved him of any wrongdoing.

The NBA, in the said letter signed by its General Secretary, Afam Osigwe, and addressed to Honeywell, said after it carefully read Honeywell’s petition, it found that the petition did not disclose any alleged infraction of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007 by Ogunba.

It said it was satisfied that the suits Ogunba filed did not amount to an abuse of court process as the companies were separate entities and that the cases were not in respect of the same facts nor did they seek the same reliefs.

Meanwhile, the LPPC also said it had rescinded its move to confer the SAN rank on Mrs. Oluwatoyin Bashorun, who it earlier listed among those it considered to confer with the rank last year.

It said after considering a petition against Bashorun, it concluded that the senior lawyer had “conducted herself in a manner which is clearly in contravention of the provisions of paragraphs 18(2) (a) and (c) and 19 (a)(b) and (d) of the Guidelines for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria 2016.”

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