The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch has debunked claims that it has a frosty relationship with the Lagos State Judiciary.

Reacting to a CITY LAWYER report on the matter, the Branch described the report as “false and misleading,” saying it “does not represent a true record of the deliberations at our last meeting, as falsely reported.”

In an online post to branch members titled “POINT OF INFORMATION!!!” and signed by the Branch Chairman, Mr. Yemi Akangbe, he stated that the branch has written to the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba “in reaction to the said publication.”

Former Financial Secretary and Treasurer Emeritus of the branch, Mr. Phillip Njeteneh had while reacting to the CITY LAWYER report, said: “At the last Branch meeting the Exco, learned seniors & members generally expressed their frustration at the cold shoulders given the Branch by the Lagos CJ over the offer to help and overtures of the Premier Branch over the recent destruction of courts & court facilities.”

It is recalled that the Chief Judge had also debunked any frosty relations between the judiciary and the branch, saying that he has been unable to receive the branch leadership due to overarching schedules.

Below is the full text of the chairman’s statement:

Dear Seniors/ Respected Members,

I hope this note finds you well.

You must have read with concern, a recent publication of an alleged “FROSTY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR BRANCH AND THE LAGOS STATE JUDICIARY” authored by City Lawyer, a blog said to be published by Mr. Emeka Nwadioke who happens to be a member of our Branch. I believe everyone present at the last Meeting of the Branch will attest to the fact that the report was inaccurate and misleading.

It is important to mention that whilst non members are permitted by us, if considered appropriate, upon request, to attend our meetings, our Branch meetings are exclusive to our members and deliberations at our meetings are privileged. A measure of confidentiality should therefore be associated with the meetings. Further the duly adopted minutes of our meetings are the only recognized record of deliberations at our meetings. Press coverage of our meetings should only be at our instance and not otherwise. We ask that City Lawyer and all other bloggers should respect the privacy associated with our meetings.

For your information, please see below, a letter to the C.J, in reaction to the said publication.

January 20, 2021

The Hon. Justice K. O. Alogba
The Chief Judge of Lagos State,
Chief Jusge’s (sic) Chambers,
High Court Complex, Ikeja,
Lagos State.

My Lord,

We have read, with astonishment and amazement, the report of the allegedly ‘frosty relationship’ between the NBA Lagos Branch and the Bench in Lagos State, especially your good self.

We write to inform you that the report by “City Lawyer blog” is false and misleading and does not represent a true record of the deliberations at our last meeting, as falsely reported.

In reporting to the Branch on the progress of collaboration between the Branch and the Bench regarding the unfortunate incidents that occurred at the High Court complex in Igbosere, we made the point that we had made proposals to your office offering assistance and had requested a meeting, but had so far been unable to secure an appointment.

Further to the above, we find the report of the existence of a ‘frosty relationship’ between the NBA Lagos Branch and the Bench to be driven by a desire for sensationalism on the part of the authors.

We anticipate that the report may have caused unnecessary embarrassment and we consider this unfortunate and regrettable.

Do please accept the assurance of our highest regards and respect, as we continue to await an opportunity to meet with you.

Yours faithfully,
Yemi Akangbe
NBA, Lagos Chairman.

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