Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN has written another scathing letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Secretary of the Body of Benchers asking them to pressure BoB Chairman, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN to quit.

In the petition, Maikyau said: “I have, since assuming office as President of the NBA, expressed concerns over the negative impact of the e-mail by Adekunbi Ogunde (as with so many other actions of our colleagues), on the legal profession in Nigeria. In my inaugural address on August 26, 2022, I specifically referred to the e-mail and the matters arising therefrom.

“I did not mince words about the devastating effect of that e-mail on our noble profession of law and by virtue of the strategic position of this Body in showcasing the crème-de-lacrème of the legal profession in Nigeria, this Body must acquit itself of any complicity, albeit after the fact, in any act of professional misconduct.

“For us as members of the legal profession to discharge this responsibility, we must be in position to earn and command the confidence of the people. Needless to say, the confidence of Nigerians in the legal profession is at an all-time low and, like I observed in my Address during the 2022/2023 Legal Year Ceremony of the Supreme Court on 28 November 2022, the unfortunate situation is not unconnected with the conduct of members of the profession, both on the Bench and at the Bar.

“It is for this reason that I must respectfully call on this Body to take definite steps toward regaining the confidence of Nigerians in the legal profession. The e-mail by Adekunbi Ogunde, which presented this Body and indeed the entire legal profession in Nigeria, as one subject to and/or susceptible to manipulation by the Chairman, is the greatest damage ever inflicted on the legal profession in Nigeria and the psyche of Nigerians. Whatever confidence Nigerians may have had in the legal profession was drastically eroded by the content of that email, which gained wide publicity in the social media.

“Interestingly, there was no denial that the said e-mail was indeed written, and whether the content of the email was authorised or not is immaterial to the impression created by its content. The only way this Body can demonstrate that it “consists of men of the highest distinction in the legal profession” is to come out and speak boldly against that negative narrative and refuse to celebrate it in anyway under any guise.

“We must not allow younger members of the profession to have the slightest thought that the content of Adekunbi Ogunde’s email is a template for legal practice in Nigeria. No one should be in any doubt that, the content of the email is condemnable and does not represent this Body and the legal profession. We owe the younger generation of lawyers the duty to speak and not be silent. My administration has committed to protecting the legal space for the benefit of the upcoming generation of lawyers. Not only are we resolved to resist any external incursions into the legal space, we shall equally resist any action that seeks to destroy the fabric of the profession.

“We owe the younger generations of not only lawyers but all Nigerians, honest and sincere mentorship. To allow the status quo in this Body to remain, despite the glaring colossal damage to the conscience of this nation, the legal profession, is to abdicate our responsibility to the nation.”

To read the letter, click here.

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