Legal Nigeria

Olumide Akpata’s Letter Calling for the resignation of Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN is Improper – Victor C. Nwaugo, Esq.

I have tried several times to keep quiet over the open letter written by the president of NBA requesting a former president of NBA and Chair of Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN to resign from his chairmanship of the BOB to allow an investigation against a partner in chambers of Wole Olanipekun & Co on allegation of professional misconduct, but my inner self has resisted that.

My position is that the President of NBA, OLU AKPATA is most unfair to Olanipekun SAN on the issue stated above. There is a saying in my village that the disgrace of a prominent man is worse than his death. From my experience as one time prosecutor for the NBA at LPDC, that Committee (LPDC) is usually made up of men of integrity. Again, I know that LPDC though a committee of Body of Benchers, is not under the control and dictates of the Chairman of BOB, neither does the Chairman of BOB have the authority or power to review a direction of the committee (LPDC) as appeal goes from LPDC to the Supreme Court.

Again, from what I have read, Olanipekun SAN is not petitioned against for investigation but his partner.
I am yet to know of a law that recognizes vicarious liability in criminal cases and same to ethical conduct of a legal practitioner except we are talking of parties to a crime.
The question I ask here is whether there is allegation of professional misconduct against Olanipekun SAN? If no, then the letter calling for his resignation as Chair of BOB is improper and may not have been written in good faith.

However, it should be noted that LPDC Rules have now changed so that a petitioner to a petition is now a complainant before the LPDC who can exercise right of appeal to the Supreme Court where he disagrees with the decision of LPDC and a Chairman of BOB can not by virtue of his position as Chair of BOB influence the appeal at the Supreme Court.
I urge the body of past presidents of NBA to call Akpata and advise him.

Victor C. Nwaugo Esq.