Another member of the troubled Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) has resigned, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.
In a resignation letter obtained by CITY LAWYER and dated March 29, 2022, Boma Ayomide Alabi SAN stated that she has resigned from the LPDC “effective immediately.”
Alabi said that she was “utterly dismayed” by the outcome of the November 22, 2021 meeting of the Body of Benchers where the body directed that the LPDC “suspends sitting” while a petition to the body was being “investigated.”
Saying that she awaited the outcome of the investigation initiated by the Body of Benchers, Alabi noted that a report was circulated at the last meeting of the body titled, “Report of the meeting of the Elders Committee held on the 25th of January 2022.”
Her words: “After some debate, the recommendations contained therein appear to have been adopted in totality, much to my consternation.”
She noted that the report recommended that “The matter before the LPDC should be terminated on the ground that no prima facie case has been made. If the complainant feels strongly about his claims, he should go to a formal court and pursue him (sic) claims.”
The former LPDC member stated that she “made enquiries with the LPDC Registry and confirmed that the Elders Committee did not request the case file in question from the Registry, neither did the Secretariat of this august Body.” Querying the mode of investigation done by the Body of Benchers, Alabi said: “It begs the question – does this mean that the Elders Committee, acting in an overtly appellate capacity in reviewing and rejecting the finding of a prima facie case by the LPDC, as set out in paragraph 5.3 of their report and quoted above, did so, without the benefit of a review of the casefile?”
Noting that the Elders Committee may have held that Section 12(7) of the Legal Practitioners Act (LPA) did not apply to the case it investigated, Alabi said: “I humbly and respectfully beg to dissent from the wisdom of the Elders on this occasion. Section 12(7) of the LPA provides, quite unambiguously, that appeals in respect of decisions of the LPDC can only be entertained by the Supreme Court.”
Alabi stated that the decision of the Body has compelled her to resign her position as LPDC member. The letter was addressed the “The Body of Benchers” and “Attention” to the chairman of the body, past chairmen, Life Benchers and Benchers.
It is recalled that CITY LAWYER had exclusively reported the resignation of Chief Ferdinand Orbih SAN as an LPDC member. This came on the heels of the resignation of the LPDC Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala SAN.
Other members of the committee are Daniel M. Tela (Secretary); Justice M. B. Dongban-Mensem; Ahmed Mustapha Goniri, Esq., Eyitayo Jegede, SAN; Ebenezer Obeya, Esq.; Justice Marshal Umokoro, Chief Judge of Delta State; Justice Hussein Mukhtar, Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Kaduna; Justice Rabi Umar, Chief Judge, Bauchi State; Uju Nwogu, Hon. Attorney General, Anambra State; Suleiman Usman, SAN, Hon. Attorney General, Sokoto State, and H. A. Turaki.
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