The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) has withdrawn the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from two lawyers for alleged misconduct.
In a statement signed by its secretary, Hadiza Mustapha, the committee said the first affected lawyer, Oluwatoyin Bashorun, would not be allowed to re-apply for the position till after three years.
According to the statement, the other lawyer, Kunle Ogunban has been relinquished of all privileges attached to the title.
“At the last emergency meeting which was held on September 15, 2017 the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee 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 Senior Advocate of Nigeria 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 as setup by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (at which the Applicant was given a fair hearing) at its 129m 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 being an officer in the temple of Justice and an aspirant to the exalted position of Senior Advocate of Nigeria 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,” the statement said.
Regarding Ogumba, the statement 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 Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (at which the Respondent was given a fair hearing) it was decided that the petition is meritorious. Consequently, the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee at its 129th Plenary Meeting has withdrawn the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Kunle Ogunba Esq.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 was found wanting in complying 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 he considered ineligible if in the opinion of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee 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, (b) be honest and straightforward in all his professional/personal dealings (c), be of good character and reputation and (d), be candid with clients and professional colleagues.”