By Malcolm Omirhobo
NIYI AKINTOLA SAN: JOOR, OLUMIDE AKPATA NA MAN , NO BE BOY
When I read certain comments made by some Senior Advocates of Nigeria, I wonder how they got the rank because they fail in all ways to exhibit the qualities required of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
There are plethora of comments made by some Senior Advocate of Nigeria that has brought disrepute and discredit to the legal profession but for the purpose of this write up those of Yomi Aliyu SAN and Niyi Akintola SAN will suffice.
Chief Yomi Aliyu SAN, responding to the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Olumide Akpata dragging a partner in the law firm of the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, Mrs Adekunbi Ogunde, to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC for soliciting for clients of other lawyers, Promising that Chief Olanipekun SAN will use his position as body of Benchers Chairman to Influence all Nigerian Judges to give an expatriate oil company a favorable Judgement, wrote on a public platform of lawyers as follows:
“President Akpata, una do well ooooo! Yoruba lawyers shall be there in full force to defend our leader and Primus inter Peres! No Yoruba son shall ever be made a sacrificial lamb like it was done to Kunle Kalejaiye SAN! Call it what you like! Tribalism! Yes! What an insult! We are Yorubas before we are Nigerians”
Niyi Akintola SAN claiming to be speaking for Egbe Amofin , the umbrella body of Yoruba lawyers, responding to a question about the fisticuff that ensued at the just concluded NBA-AGM on a radio program at Fresh FM in Ibadan unfairly and for no just cause took a swipe at immediate past President of NBA Olumide Akpata .
Hear him : “That boy (Olu Akpata) is a transactional lawyer, he has never practiced law, he’s a businessman so the scenario at the bar conference is not surprising”
“We at the Egbe Amofin took a unified stance not to dignify that boy with our presence”
“That decision was reached here in Ibadan. Chief Olanipekun was the Leader of Egbe Amofin, and I was his Vice. I and Chief Olanipekun have religiously abided by that decision, however, some of our boys and girls decided to go their ways because they wanted to be in government. They wanted positions”.
I find the above comments of both Senior Advocate of Nigeria as ungentlemanly, uncourteous, irresponsible, derogatory, divisive and conduct unbecoming of members of the inner bar. It is shameful that both SANS have brought tribalism into the bar in a flagrant attempt to divide the bar along ethnic lines. For their gross misconduct, I recommend that both SAN face disciplinary action before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee. Come to think of it, what contributions have Yemi Aliyu SAN and Niki Akintola SAN made to the advancement of the legal profession in Nigeria ? I will say nothing near the contributions made by the former President of the NBA, Olumide Akpata.
I challenge both SANS to tell us how many lawyers they have employed in their career and how much they pay lawyers under their employment. Akpata as far as I know have employed many lawyers and paid them handsomely well. In fact, Akpata’s firm the TEMPLARS is one of the highest paying law firm in Nigeria since its inception to date.
The bag saga at the just concluded NBA conference and in house fighting notwithstanding, I score Olumide Akpata an A. The man did well. He came, saw, conquered and left his foot prints on the sands of time. Joor, Akintola SAN, Akpata na man no be boy .
It is laughable that in his said radio interview Akintola SAN, is complaining about poverty of values and lack of respect by the younger (soro soke) generation for the older generation. My advice to him and his likes is for them to earn their and not asked for it and that respect is reciprocal. I am of the school of thought that beliefs that the younger generation must honour their parents, elders and constituted authorities but must not fail to hold them accountable.
Akintola SAN and his generation have failed the younger generation and must get the hell out of their way for them to take over for our collective good or risked being stampeded. The young people are an unstoppable force of moral army that cannot be ignored. If you ignore them, you do so at your own peril.
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