Body of Benchers fixes emergency meeting over crisis with NBA

The Body of Benchers (BoB) has fixed an emergency meeting to be held in January 2023 over disagreement with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

The NBA, in the letter written by its president Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), had asked Wole Olanipekun, the chairman of the Body of Benchers, not to preside over the call to bar ceremony for  new 4,711 lawyers.

The lawyers association hinged its action on the accusation of unethical practice leveled against Olanipekun.

But, Olanipekun shunned the request to recuse himself and presided over the event, which the NBA boycotted.

Daniel Tela, explaining the BoB’s position, said that the NBA’s letter was addressed personally to its chairman. He said it was the reason the matter could not be taken at BoB’s meeting, held December 5.

“In spite of all the comments and contributions of members, the chairman still passionately pleaded that the matter is taken, and made reference to a previous letter written in July 2022 on the eve of the Call to Bar ceremony,” he said.

“Majority of the members were of the view that the chairman drops his insistence that the matter be conclusively decided, bearing in mind, several factors including the fact that majority of the members did not receive the email, coupled with the fact that the Call to Bar subject was too important and central to the body and the content of the letter was not such that could be taken under the AOB.

“While frowning at the use of social media for the forwarding of sensitive official documents, the body promised to give the chairman time for proper consideration of the contents of the letter.

“It was, therefore, resolved that the matter be taken at the emergency meeting of the Body scheduled to take place in January 2023 at a date to be communicated to members.”

TheCornet had reported that Olanipekun fell into the bad books of the NBA after a lawyer in his chamber attempted to snatch a brief already being handled by Henry Ajumogobia (SAN) for SAIPEM Oil Contracting Ltd.

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