Senior Lawyer Stripped of SAN Rank, Another’s Nomination Withdrawn

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has announced the withdrawal of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from Mr. Kunle Ogunba.

But this came after the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) cleared him of misconduct allegations.

LPPC, in a statement signed by its Secretary and Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadizatu Mustapha, said Ogunba’s rank was withdrawn based on a petition by Honeywell Group, alleging professional misconduct against him.

The company accused the lawyer of filing multiple suits against its subsidiaries before different judges of the Federal High Court on the same subject “with the deliberate aim of abusing the process of the court.”

LPPC said: “After a thorough investigation of the petition by the sub-committee set up by the LPPC (at which the respondent was given a fair hearing), it was decided that the petition is meritorious. Therefore, the LPPC has withdrawn the rank of SAN from Kunle Ogunba and other privileges attached to the rank.”

LPPC also withdrew the nomination of a lawyer, Oluwatoyin Bashorun, for the conferment of the rank and barred her from applying for three years.

It said: “The petitioner’s petition is meritorious, having found that the petitioner stayed and continued to stay in a rented property for nine years without paying rent.

“In view of the above, the Committee has decided that the nomination for conferment of the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on Olawatoyin Ajoke Bashorun on July 6, 2017 is hereby withdrawn.”

The NBA, in its August 5, 2016 response to Honeywell Group’s petition, cleared Ogunba of any wrongdoing.

In the letter signed by its then General Secretary, Mazi Afam Osigwe, the association said after a careful reading of the petition, it was found not to disclose any alleged infraction of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007 by Ogunba.

NBA 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.

NBA listed the cases as – Ecobank vs Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Ecobank vs Siloam Global Services Limited, Ecobank vs Anchorage Leisures and Ecobank vs Honeywell Group Limited, among others.