Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Nigerian Bar Association’s Legal Practitioner and Disciplinary Committee has dismissed a petition alleging professional misconduct against a legal practitioner, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede.
In a letter dated September 8, 2016, the umbrella body of lawyers in the country said the petition against Oluyede by a Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) disclosed no prima facie case of professional misconduct against the lawyer.
In the petition against the lawyer, Obla accused Olueyde of lying against him when he (Oluyede) claimed that Obla was the one who informed him of a plot to abduct and extradite the Senator representing Ogun East, Buruji Kashamu, to the United States of America for trial over alleged drug-trafficking offence.
In an affidavit before the court, Ajibola Oluyede, maintained that the plot was leaked to him by Obla.
Obla was believed to be close to the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN0, from whom he (Obla) allegedly got the information.
Obla, who denied having or leaking the information, had dragged Oluyede before the Legal Practitioner Disciplinary Committee, accusing him of fabricating the story to make his client’s case look good.
He had said he could never have had and shared such a piece of information with Oluyede, whom he said was no more than a professional acquaintance to him.
After the LPDC heard the parties involved in the matter, the committee in its decision communicated to chief Obla and signed by Mr. Isiaka Abiola Olagunju said, “We write to inform you that the NBA Disciplinary Committee, Abuja panel B has concluded the hearing of your petition, it is the decision of the panel that your petition does not disclose a prima facie case of professional misconduct.
“Therefore, your petition against the respondent (Oluyede) is hereby dismissed.”
The controversy started with a petition dated April 15, 2015, which was authored and sent to the National Human Rights Commission by Oluyede on behalf of Kashamu.
Oluyede had stated in the petition that Obla leaked the information to him while they were both on a flight from Abuja to Lagos.
Following Obla’s denial of leaking the information, Oluyede again reacted by insisting that the information was unsolicited when Obla offered it to him as a “whistle blower.”
Oluyede said in a statement, “I have just seen Mr. Obla’s reaction to the letter written by my firm to the NHRC. I assume from the tone of the rejoinder that Mr. Obla is under fire for leaking this information to me and I am therefore not surprised.
“It is true that Mr. Obla and I are only acquaintances and this was the reason I thought of him as a conscientious and honourable whistle blower when he gave me this unsolicited information.
“I had, in the matter he referred to in his rejoinder, begun to admire his candour and independent thinking. Even at that time he was very open about his candid views about the facts of that case.
“I naturally informed my client about the information as soon as Mr. Obla offered it and when the matter developed, I had no hesitation in confirming it to debunk the growing impression that he was merely imagining the matter.
“I sympathise with Chief Obla if my duty to my client has brought him discomfort. I, however, see his resort to abusive language and threats as totally unjustifiable and untenable.”