A Life Bencher and former Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko SAN has described the renaming of Body of Benchers Complex Management Committee which he chairs as “unlawful,,” adding that he remains the Chairman of the committee.

In a letter obtained by CITY LAWYER and addressed to Mr. Daniel Tela, Secretary of the Body of Benchers,  Nwoko stated that the elite body “is a creation of statute and must operate within the latitude of its Regulations.”

Hinting on the recent reconstitution of standing committees of the body by its Chairman, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, Nwoko wrote in the letter dated 31st May, 2024: “God forbid, and may the day never come when we would jettison the Regulations and operate according to the whims and caprices of an individual.”

Recalling his invitation by the Benchers’ scribe to a meeting of the rechristened “Infrastructure Development and Management Committee,” Nwoko noted that at an earlier meeting of chairmen and vice chairmen of the new committees summoned by Awomolo, “I did unequivocally register my protest and rejection of the unlawful changes.

“Recall further that at the said meeting of 10th May, 2024, I unequivocally but with great respect told the Chairman that he had no powers under the Benchers Regulation to dissolve any standing Committee or change the name or appellation of any Committee to make it different from what is contained in paragraph 11(3) of the Body of Benchers Regulation.

“Recall in particular that I, without any equivocation, read out my appointment letter into the APPOINTMENT COMMITTEE dated 22nd November, 2022 which gave me a THREE YEAR TENURE and insisted that I remain a member of the Appointment Committee.”

He stated that Awomolo lacked the power to change the name of the Body of Benchers Complex Management Committee to “Infrastructure Development and Management Committee,” adding that “I insisted that the Body of Benchers Complex Management Committee remain intact and I remain the chairman of that Committee pursuant to the Regulations.

Nwoko stated that he was “surprised” to receive notice of the meeting “of that purported Committee,” adding that it is “an illegal contraption not known to law in the Body of Benchers.”

He urged the Benchers Secretary “to completely disregard whatever took place at that gathering,” saying that “Very soon I will call a meeting of the Body of Benchers Complex Management Committee in accordance with the law.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN had also discountenanced his removal as Chairman of the Appointment Committee, saying his tenure remains intact.

Former Plateau State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Edward Pwajok SAN had also heaped more pressure on the embattled Body of Benchers Chairman when he alleged that the reconstitution exercise was not only lopsided but that members of the Appointment Committee were being punished for refusing to rubber-stamp a list of bencher-nominees.

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