The last has not been heard of the festering face-off between estranged Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Associaition (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins and NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN.

In a letter obtained by CITY LAWYER, Maikyau has directed the out-of-favour Bar Leader to “immediately refund all monies collected or paid to you by the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation on the strength of your false pretence within seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this letter.”

Continuing, the NBA President vowed to drag the embattled senior lawyer to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), saying: “Failing which, I will have no option than to commence disciplinary action against you before the LPDC, and this I shall do without further notice to you. This is without prejudice to the right of the NBA to initiate any other complaint against you as it may deem appropriate.”

Setting the background for the latest face-off between the two Bar Leaders and Call mates, Maikyau stated that Aikpokpo-Martins and Mr. Victor Onweremadu, acting as Coordinator and Secretary respectively of the now banned ‘Representatives of the NBA to the General Council of the Bar,’ had written to the leadership of the General Council of the Bar (GCB) claiming that the NBA President had stated that he would not provide funding for them for their activities at the council.

“As at the time of making the above-quoted assertion in the letter under reference, you knew that there was no such communication to you by the President of the NBA, and there was no request for payment of, or refund for traveling and accommodation expenses made to the NBA by you. You know that as a practice, NBA will pay for or refund travel and accommodation expenses, whenever such was incurred in the course any assignment approved by the President or the National Executive Council (NEC), upon a demand made and treated through the established process of payment within the NBA.

“Following your request for refund of the cost of flight tickets to the 20 members of NBA in GCB who attended the inaugural meeting of the GCB on 9 January 2023, payment was accordingly made as per the invoice presented to the office of the President. A copy of the invoice you presented and the Access Bank receipt for the payments made are hereto attached. Similarly, for instance, when you attended the proceedings at the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) in the matter between the Incorporated Trustees of the NBA and Adekunbi Ogunde, the request for your accommodation and travel expenses was settled. A copy of the memo by which you were paid, and the Access Bank Receipt thereof are hereto attached.

“Your conduct or action in this instance, is clearly a case of obtaining by false pretence, it was unethical, unprofessional; a conduct unbecoming of a legal practitioner and constitutes gross misconduct on your part.”

CITY LAWYER however recalls that in a two-pronged letter to the NBA Annual General Meeting and the Board of Trustees dated 9th March, 2024 and signed by 11 GCB members, they had stated that the NBA President informed them that he would not fund their activities.

In the letter, the GCB members accused the NBA President of misrepresenting his clear position during their meeting with him at NBA House on the heels of their inauguration.

Writing on “FLIGHT TICKETS AND REFUND,” the GCB members stated that “In the course of the meeting, the NBA President decried the paragraph of our letter where we informed the AGF as President of the GCB, of the NBA Presidents communication to us that the NBA would not be responsible for our flight or accommodation expenses. He denied ever making that statement and called on us to present any document where he stated so.

“The NBA President further stated that he would not pay for someone who will be attending the meeting and that he thought that these were things we need to do to serve the Association. He asked Where did I say that I would not pay? I didnt!

“To authenticate his claim, the NBA President brandished an invoice covering for refund of travel expenses to the members of the GCB for our first inaugural meeting while we were referring to subsequent meetings in our letter to the President of the GCB. This was supposed evidence that he caters to our logistics needs. Does he?

“Sadly, the NBA President’s denial of his statement regarding the responsibility for the logistics of NBA Representatives to the GCB is inconsistent with the facts. Contrary to the President’s claim, there is clear evidence of his reluctance to bear the travel expenses of the GCB members. Members of the GCB have had 3 meetings since inauguration of the Council and the NBA President refunded travel expenses only once. When we were invited for our first inauguration, all members bore the cost of their travel expenses to Abuja for the meeting without making any request of the NBA President.

“At the end of our inaugural meeting/swearing in on the 9th day of January, 2023, NBA Reps to the GCB paid a courtesy visit to the NBA President at the NBA National Secretariat and among other issues discussed, the issue of the NBA being responsible for our travel and hotel logistics was thrown up. Mr. NBA President immediately retorted bluntly that the NBA would not be responsible for the expenses of GCB members as said members were members of a different statutory body who should cater to our logistics. He was categorical about it and repeated this several times. In fact he got upset when one of us tried to insist he should and other members had to apologize on behalf of that one member. We left his office that day knowing that we were on our own.

“As we left his office, some members were opportune to see the 1st Vice President, Mrs. Linda Rose Bala, who upon getting to know of the Presidents position, promised to speak to him. Upon the 1st Vice President speaking to him, he conceded to a refund of our travel expenses for that one meeting, again reiterating that there would be no further payments. An invoice was then sent to him through the 1st Vice President and members received the one and only refund of their travel logistics, many months after the meeting.

“The invoice he presented during the NEC meeting, which showcased payment for flight tickets, thus only accounts for this single instance when he reluctantly refunded the part of the travel expenses. As the NBA President explicitly communicated that he would not bear the expenses for the GCB for subsequent meetings, no further demands were made of him. This unequivocal statement was made in the presence of over 10 GCB members who visited his office at the NBA National Secretariat. It is inconceivable that the President would deny making such a crucial statement, especially when numerous witnesses can attest to its occurrence.

“Following the single reimbursement made after persistent efforts, the NBA President never catered for the logistics of members and members of the Council for all other meetings have borne their travel and accommodation expenses without complaint.

“Despite this, the President had no qualms in leading NEC to condemn the assertion in the said letter that the NBA President has expressed his inability to fund the expenses of NBA Members in GCB. He also pulled out an invoice for refund of travel expenses for the 1st inaugural meeting of the GCB whereas the letter we wrote to the GCB President was after his remark to us and referred to subsequent meetings of the GCB and not that first meeting. The President was well aware of this, yet he misled NEC to believe that members were calling for refund of expenses for the 1st meeting! He also saw nothing wrong in NEC calling for an investigation into the monies collected by Members of GCB from Ministry of Justice without the knowledge of or reporting to the NBA. This is also perplexing to us that the NBA President seeks to investigate funds paid to members of a statutory body for their lodging for a meeting they all attended.

“The NBA President’s assertion that he never declared his refusal to be responsible for the logistics of NBA Representatives to the GCB, despite clear evidence to the contrary, is not only shocking but raises serious questions about transparency and integrity. We repeat that his statement that he would NOT be responsible for our expenses was made in the presence of over 10 of our members who visited him in his office at the NBA National Secretariat! Imagine our shock therefore when we watched him declare before NEC members that he never said so! A statement he repeated to our hearing several times! Unbelievable!

“The President’s attempt to distance himself from this prior statement during the NEC meeting, where he categorically stated that he never made such a declaration, is deeply troubling. Such contradictions erode the trust and confidence that NBA members place in the leadership’s commitment to accountability, integrity and fair treatment.”

To join our CITY LAWYER platform on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to Join us on Facebook at and on “X” (TWITTER) at To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email or call 08138380083.

All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.