Text writer and legal scholar, Prof. Yemi Oke has fought back over what he termed “unfounded allegations” made against him by Venerable B. O. Okunuga.

The clergyman had penned a petition which was published by a blog with the title, “Clergyman Call on LPPC to Disqualify Law Professor from SAN Rank alleging Fraudulent and Sharp Practices.”

But Oke, a Law teacher at the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Lagos, is not amused by the allegations. He has described the petition as not only baseless but a “cheap and desperate” attempt to thwart his long-standing ambition to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Okunuga had previously submitted a similar petition against Oke’s earlier application in October 2020. This resulted in the suspension of his eligibility pending the resolution of the matter. Oke unsuccessfully appealed the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) decision.

Despite the ongoing legal tussle over properties between the petitioner and the Ogunade Family, Oke has maintained that the allegation of collusion against him was unjust and malicious.

He bemoaned the fact that his quest for the coveted rank had been repeatedly impeded by the unresolved Suit. No. LD/2437LM/2019 which was only dismissed in 2022 after the shortlisting of applicants for SAN Awards that year.

Oke expressed confidence in the fairness of the award process and the ability of the LPPC to differentiate between valid concerns and what he described as “transferred aggression.”

He also indicated that he would continue to follow due process and restated his commitment to defend his professional reputation, even as he had engaged his solicitors to squarely address the matter.

The full text of his rebuttal is below.


(1) My attention has been drawn to yet another desperate moves by Venerable O. Okunuga to frustrate my long-held dream, desire and aspiration to becoming a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) through an on-line document captioned: “Clergyman Call on LPPC to Disqualify Law Professor from SAN Rank alleging Fraudulent and Sharp Practices” published on September 23, 2023 by Halima Abiola at:

(2) I have never met or set my eyes on Venerable Okunuga till date. While I appreciate the fact that, in line with the tradition of Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) to invite comments on suitability of applicants, comments may be made, but certainly gallery-dancing on social media over a private communication with the LPPC is, to say the least cheap and desperate of Venerable Okunuga.

(3) Venerable Okunuga had earlier submitted the same petition against my application for SAN on 7th October, 2020. My confirmation had to be put on hold for the LPPC to thoroughly look into the misplaced allegations.

(4) I appeared before the LPPC in respect of the earlier petition of Venerable Okunuga. The LLPC ruled that Suit. No. LD/2437LM/2019 filed by Venerable Okunuga raised an allegation against my person and that my eligibility to proceed will be put on hold until the suit is finally determined.

(5) I filed an appeal against the decision but my appeal was not successful.

(6) While the case was pending, I made attempts to apply for SAN again in 2021. The LPPC wrote that I will not be eligible to apply until the suit was determined.

(7) I applied again in the year 2022 in the hope that the suit would have been determined. I continued to pray to God for victory. The suit, Suit. No. LD/2437LM/2019 was dismissed in 2022 after names of applicants for SAN in 2022 had been shortlisted.

(8) I contacted the LPPC through a letter. The LPPC wrote that, unfortunately, applications and processing for the year 2022 SAN was almost concluded and that I can only apply for the next edition in 2023.

(9) I applied for the 2023 edition and was shortlisted only for the “Clergyman” to repeat the same malicious petition with minor additions.

(10) The issue of Ogunade Family over Nos. 366 and 368 Muritala Mohammed Way dates back to1991. The Head of the Ogunade Family filed a suit in 2000, before I was called to the Nigerian bar in January 2001. The suit, No. ID/198/2000 – Prince Ogunade & Ors vs Venerable Okunuga & Ors has continued till date. Parties are now on appeal.

(11) We became a tenant in No. 366 Muritala Mohammed Way through the Landlord, Prince Ogunade. We handled some matters for the landlord.

(12) The unfounded, malicious allegation of “collusion” with Prince Ogunade simply because our firm is a Counsel is, to say the least, most wicked.

(13) Ours is a Partnership. I do mostly advisory, research and consultancy. I’m not the Counsel on record in the matter but the wicked Venerable Okunuga has mindlessly singled me out because of my aspiration to be made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

(14) If he has criminal allegations against Prince Ogunade or my person, he knows where to pursue same. I’d refrained from taking out suits against him for defamation to avoid beclouding the sense of judgement of the LPPC in respect of his earlier application of 7th October 2020.

(15) There is no truth in the misplaced, wicked and most malicious allegations of Venerable Okunuga. The Ogunade family and its headship have been fighting over Nos. 366 and 368 since 1991 being the properties of their daughter, Late Mrs Morgan (Nee Ogunade). Family dispute over land should ordinarily not be taken personally against a Counsel.

(16) I’m very sure the LPPC is a fair professional institution and will not allow the desperate Venerable Okunuga to again “re-litigate” his misplaced grievances for which I’d been cleared by the LPPC after rigorous scrutiny.

(17) The ethics of the legal profession will not allow me to say or write beyond debunking the unfound allegations of Venerable Okunuga. His transferred aggression is misplaced and had better been directed at the Ogunades.

(18) I remain an applicant before the LPPC. I’ll be unable to say or volunteer further facts or vital documents or exhibits on social media just to show that the allegations of Venerable Okunuga are baseless.

(19) By rules, if the LPPC deems it necessary, I will be contacted to make a formal response to Venerable Okunuga’s renewed allegations for the second time.

(20) In view of the fact that my image and professional reputation is being unjustly maligned publicly, I have contacted my lawyers to do the needful.

Thank you.
Prof. Ganiu Adeyemi Oke, Ph.D, FCArb, FCTI

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