Life Bencher and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN has  retaken his seat as the Chairman of the Benchers Appointment Committee of the elite Body of Benchers, CITY LAWYER can report.

CITY LAWYER had in an exclusive report noted how Alegeh had disagreed sharply with the recent reconstitution of the Body of Benchers committees by its Chairman, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN.

He queried his removal as Chairman of the Benchers Appointment Committee, noting that he is yet to serve out his three-year tenure as the duly appointed chairman of the committee.

Citing several alleged infractions of the Benchers Regulations 2024, the former NBA helmsman wrote: “I am surprised to see that whereas my tenure has not expired, my respected big brother and Life Bencher, Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN, whom I hold in very high esteem, and who has a rich history of respect for the Rule of Law, was published in your email as the “Chairman” of the same Committee.”

But CITY LAWYER gathered that Alegeh is now back in the saddle as the Benchers Appointment Committee Chairman.

An impeccable source who is familiar with the matter told CITY LAWYER that though a recent meeting of the committee started on a feisty note, Alegeh later retook the mantle of leadership and spearheaded the meeting.

The source said there were “initial altercations” on the leadership question, adding that Alegeh however “presided over the very successful meeting” which held last Wednesday at 11 am at the Body of Benchers Complex in Abuja.

THISDAY reports that the meeting was attended by former NBA President Okey Wali SAN; Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN; Hon. Justice Adamu Galinje, JSC (Rtd); Hon. Justice Fatima Abubakar, CJ (Rtd); Tijani Inuwa Dutse; Chief John Ochoga; Lady Debbie Obodoukwu; Prof. Ogugua Ikpeze; Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN and Senator Edward Pwajok, SAN. The committee has scheduled its next meeting for Wednesday, 26 June, 2024.

Alegeh had vowed that he would not relinquish the position without a fight, saying that “I therefore would continue to act as Chairman of the Committee in the terms stated in my Letter of Appointment.”

Body of Benchers Secretary Daniel Tela had told CITY LAWYER that the Body of Benchers was aware of Alegeh’s May 2, 2024 letter and would tackle all the issues raised. His words: “We are in receipt of the letter and the attention of the Chairman has been drawn to it. The issues raised will be addressed by the Chairman.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that Awomolo had however expressed displeasure over our report on the matter, stating that it breached the Cybercrimes Act and that the controversial email was a “private” communication among benchers.

It is unclear how the Body of Benchers leadership will address the position of respected Bar Leader, Mr. Yusuf Ali SAN who was appointed by Awomolo as the Chairman of the Benchers Appointment Committee. The issue may take the front burner at the next Body of Benchers meeting said to have been slated for June 27, 2024.

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