The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has demoted a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Kunle Ogunba, by withdrawing the prestigious title of SAN from him for professional misconduct.
The LPPC also barred a lawyer, Oluwatoyin Bashorun, from applying for the rank of SAN, following her involvement in professional misconduct.
A statement by the LPPC secretary, Hadiza Mustapha, said the committee had barred Oluwatoyin Bashorun from re-applying for the rank of SAN in the next three years while Kunle Ogunba has been relinquished of all privileges attached to the SAN title.
The statement reads in part, “At the last Emergency Meeting held on September, 15 2017, the LPPC, by virtue of Section 5 (1) of the Legal Practitioners Act CAP L11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. 2004 (as amended), decided to suspend the conferment of the rank of SAN on Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashorun Esq. pending the investigation of all petitions filed against her.
“This is to notify the general public that after a thorough investigation of the petition, the sub-committee was set up by the LPPC (at which the applicant was given a fair hearing) at its 129th Plenary Meeting upheld the recommendations of the subcommittee to wit:
“That the petitioner’s petition is meritorious, having found that the respondent stayed and continued to stay in a rented property for nine years without paying rent.
“That Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashorun Esq. being an officer in the temple of justice and an aspirant to the exalted position of SAN has conducted herself in a manner which is clearly in contravention of the provisions of paragraphs 18(2) (a) & (c) and 19 (a) (b) (c) & (d) of the Legal Practitioners Act.
On Ogunba’s case, the LPPC said, “Honeywell Group petitioned Kunle Ogunba SAN, alleging professional misconduct against him. The misconduct allegedly consists of the institution of multiplicity of proceedings before different judges of the Federal High Court on the same subject with the deliberate aim of abusing the process of court and derailing the course of justice.
“This is to further notify the General Public that 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. Consequently, the LPPC at its 129th Plenary Meeting has withdrawn the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Kunle Ogunba Esq. and all other privileges attached to the rank forthwith.”
According to the statement, the guidelines for the conferment of the title which Bashorun did not comply with include the following:
“The candidate must be of good character and must have no pending disciplinary case or complaint relating to professional misconduct against him. A candidate shall be considered ineligible if in the opinion of the LPPC the candidate is adjudged to be of the following disposition:
“Bad behaviour, whether in or out of court ; poor temperament or propensity to insult or assault people or cause them harm or put them in a state of fear of bodily harm;
“Evidence of moral depravity or other socially unacceptable behaviour; 19 (I) A candidate must:
“Demonstrate high professional and personal integrity; Be honest and straightforward in all his professional/personal dealings; Be of good character and reputation; Be candid with clients and professional colleagues.”
Andrew Orolua, Abuja.