LPDC PROBE: EASTERN BAR FORUM ASKS OLANIPEKUN TO STEP ASIDE
The Eastern Bar Forum has asked the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN to step aside “to save that august institution and the legal profession further embarrassment and opprobrium.”
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the EBF Governing Council, Chief Uba Anene, the forum alleged that Olanipekun has “grave integrity issues hanging over his head.”
According to the influential forum, “The EBF also calls on the Chairman of the Body of Benchers to save that august institution and the legal profession further embarrassment and opprobrium by stepping aside while issues pertaining to his integrity and that of his eponymous office is being dealt with. There can be no better way to lead by example.”
It also urged the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State to reverse the imprisonment of fiery human rights lawyer, Mr. Inibehe Effiong.
The full statement reads:
IN THE MATTERS OF INIBEHE EFFIONG AND CHIEF WOLE OLANIPEKUN, SAN
It is not the best of times for the legal profession in Nigeria.
Yesterday, at a hastily relocated venue due to the pervading state of insecurity in Nigeria, 1507 candidates were admitted to the noble profession at a ceremony presided over by a Chairman of the Body of Benchers with grave integrity issues hanging over his head.
Yesterday also, east of the Niger, a learned presiding Chief Judge wielded the ultimate judicial hammer and clamped a learned colleague Inibehe Effiong into prison for daring to raise procedural issues in a politically sensitive case involving the Akwa Ibom State governor, in which her impartiality had been called to question by way of a properly filed and served application for recusal/transfer.
These incidents leave a sour taste in the mouth.
The EBF calls on the Honourable Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State to take another look at the matter, rescind her committal order immediately and transfer the pending case to another court so that justice may not only be done but also be seen to have been done.
The EBF also calls on the Chairman of the Body of Benchers to save that august institution and the legal profession further embarrassment and opprobrium by stepping aside while issues pertaining to his integrity and that of his eponymous office is being dealt with. There can be no better way to lead by example.
Chief Uba Anene
Chairman, EBF Governing Council.
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