CONTROVERSY, AS CAC REJECTS ‘LAW SOCIETY OF NIGERIA’
BAR LEADERS BEHIND NEW BODY REVEALED
More facts have emerged on how the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) rejected registration of the new lawyers’ union, citing conflict with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
In a document obtained by CITY LAWYER, the CAC had refused to approve the name “Law Society of Nigeria” among two others, stating that the “name is closely similar to Nigerian Bar Association and will mislead.”
As an additional reason for its refusal to register the new body, the CAC claimed that “It also lacks the spread and National Character.”
However, the promoters of the new association fought back through a protest letter by their solicitor and former NBA General Secretary who now doubles as LSN’s Vice President, Mr. Nimi Walson-Jack, saying that the promoters are “victims of patent error, probable administrative inadvertence, and oversight.”
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that the arrow-heads of the new association are Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN, Mr. Mela Audu Nunghe SAN and Amb. Garba Gajam among others. The Bar Leaders are listed as Trustees of then proposed association.
The Publicity Secretary of LSN, Mr. Douglas Ogbankwa told CITY LAWYER that it was when the CAC refused to register the proposed name notwithstanding the petition that the promoters opted for a recourse to a similar name earlier incorporated by the CAC.
Meanwhile, another Bar Leader, Prince Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, SAN had challenged the new body for going public with its existence, saying that the protem Executive Committee is “unknown to the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS), and should be disregarded by all Nigerian Lawyers and the Distinguished Body of Benchers of Nigeria to whom the letter dated 24th October, 2022, was written.”
This was however countered by the nascent association which argued that it has the consent of the sole surviving trustee of LSN.
Disclaimer of the purported Pro Tem National Executives of the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS).
1. My attention has just been drawn to the purported Executive Committee of the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS) and hereby wish to assure all Legal Practitioners in Nigeria that the purported Executive Committee are unknown to the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS).
2. The Law Society of Nigeria (NLS) was incorporated on 28th December, 1994, by my goodself, Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, as Convener and as Secretary with Mr. Charles I. Idehen as Chairman.
3. The idea was to save the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) from self-destruction after the 1992 Port Harcourt crises and we have over the years reviewed the need to keep the Nigerian Lawyers under the main umbrella of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
4. Recent events in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have led to an increasing agitation for the full commencement of activities of the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN) for which some representatives of the persons now claiming to be Executives of the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN) held a meeting with me and one of the promoters of the Law Society of Nigeria on 6th October, 2022, in Lagos, where thier appeal for the commencement of full activities was tabled, considered and deferred for further consultations with some of the other key promoters and the sole surviving Trustees.
5. That consultation is ongoing and the hasty announcement by the said letter with reference number LDN/BOB/C/2022/Vol. 1/001 , on the indicated subject
‘LAW SOCIETY OF NIGERIA:
NOTICE OF EXISTENCE AND NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE’ to the Body of Benchers of its pro tem National Executives of the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN), namely :
a. Kunle Ogunba, SAN – President
b. Hon. Nimi Walson-Jack – Vice President
c. Abdulqadir Alhaji Sani – Secretary
d. Olasupo Ojo – Welfare Secretary
e. Chioma Ferguson – Treasurer
f. Douglas Ogbankwa – Publicity Secretary
g. Zara Umar Yakub – Financial Secretary
h. Alice Ogaku Awonugba – Assistant Secretary
i. Hassan Sherif – Assistant Publicity Secretary;
are with respect to them unknown to the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS), and should be disregarded by all Nigerian Lawyers and the Distinguished Body of Benchers of Nigeria to whom the letter dated 24th October, 2022, was written.
6. The logo and Motto – Justice For All on the purported letter claiming to be that of the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN) are alien to the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS) and amounts to the tort of passing-off.
7. That the offices known to the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS) as provided for in Article 6 of the Constitution of the Law Society of Nigeria dated 10th February, 1994, and submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) are as follows:
c. CHAIR OF THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES
h. EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT
8. In conclusion on behalf of the Promoters of the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN) and as Founding Secretary, I hereby state categorically that NO EXECUTIVE has been appointed for the Law Society of Nigeria as at today, Sunday 30th October, 2022, and that the purported notice should be disregarded.
Prince (Dr.) Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, SAN
CONVENER AND FOUNDING SECRETARY
LAW SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (LSN)
No Cause for Alarm: Law Society of Nigeria (LSN ) is Alive and Kicking
The attention of the Protem National Exco of the Law Society has been drawn to a comment from Prince (Dr.) Richard Oma Ahonarurogho, SAN, on the publication by the Protem National Executives of the Law Society of Nigeria. Prince Richard Ahonaruogho is a respected Member of the legal profession in Nigeria.The Law Society of Nigeria wishes to respond on the above indicated issue as follows :
1.The Law Society of Nigeria duly consulted with a sole surviving Trustee of the Society and current Exco obtained all the necessary consents and approvals before going public even as further consultations shall be intensified to carry the past and current stakeholders along in the hardous journey ahead
2.The Law Society of Nigeria is indeed alive and here to stay .We are glad it is receiving rave reviews and this indicates the frenzy with which the resuscitation of the LSN is being accepted.
3. It is not a walk in the park to create a change and we have factored this in as we continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders in ensuring that we make the necessary in roads to give our dear Society all the supports required for its success.
4. It is important to state that Prince (Dr.) Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, SAN has not claimed to a Trustee nor a current Exco Member of the Law Society of Nigeria (since membership of an exco cannot be in perpetuity and the current National Exco as constituted is properly constituted following due process and notwithstanding his lack of capacity to issue such a disclaimer, the Pro Tem Executives will leave no stone unturned to address all issues that our publication has generated particularly his friendly rejoinder and assure him of an enduring partnership with the collective interest of all practitioners in view.
5. We shall, in the coming days release more information on the activities of LSN.We thank you all for your overwhelming emails, calls and messages and we promise give you the best of leadership expected of an innovative and trail blazing organisation like ours.
It is indeed a new beginning.
E-Signed :Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.,
Publicity Secretary ,
Law Society of Nigeria (LSN).
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