Alleged Disbarment: Oddiri Faults Supreme Court Chief Registrar’s Letter

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By Tobi Soniyi

A Lagos based legal practitioner, Mr. Moses Oddiri has disputed a letter purportedly issued by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court which claimed that he was disbarred by the Legal Practitioner Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).

Oddiri told Justice B.A. Oke-Lawal of a Lagos High Court that the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court could not have written the letter because the apex court registrar was aware that his appeal against the directives of LPDC is still pending and besides, the Court of Appeal in Lagos had quashed the decision of the LPDC that purportedly disbarred him.

Oddiri had dragged the Redeemers International Secondary School, its principal, Mrs. Feyisara Osinupebi, Pastor Ben Akabueze, the General Overseer of Redeemers International Church, Enoch Adeboye, the British Council and Cambridge IGCSE before the court challenging the refusal of the defendants to release the certificates of his son, Andre Oddiri to him.

In an originating summons, Odiri said the decision to withhold his son’s 2016 Cambridge I.G.C.S.E result, the updated transcript from Junior Secondary School 1 to Senior Secondary School 3, his testimonial/statement and the 2017 WAEC result over alleged non-payment of third term school fees after receiving over N20 million from him as fees was dubious and unlawful.

On the 12th of July 2017, Justice Oke-Lawal ordered that the documents in the custody of the 1st and 2nd respondents be deposited with the chief registrar of the court for preservation pending the outcome and determination of the motion on notice for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the applicants.

The respondents did not immediately comply with the order to deposit the documents with the court registrar. They only did after the plaintiff commenced a contempt proceeding after issuing Forms 48 and 49.

However, at the last hearing of the case, counsel to the defendants, Emeka Etiaba, (SAN) raised an objection to Oddiri’s appearance saying that he was in possession of a letter from the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court which, he said showed that Oddiri had been disbarred.

But Oddiri countered him instantly saying, “I have a certified true copy of the appellate court that quashed the decision of the LPDC. We have written to the Supreme Court.”

He also told the court that the apex court and the LPDC were served with the copy of the judgment and that in the circumstance, the Chief Registrar lacked the power to write the letter Etiaba brought to the court.

Etiaba admitted he was aware of the appeal court judgment but said he was not a party to the case and therefore did not appeal the judgment.

Oddiri said he would file a counter affidavit and also bring all necessary documents to the court.

Justice Oke-Lawal consequently adjourned the matter to enable the parties file all necessary documents.

THISDAY also obtained a copy of the Appeal Court judgment which quashed the decision of LPDC.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyanwu, the appellate court held that the “direction reached by the panel remains a nulity.”

THISDAY also gathered that Oddiri, to avoid delay in the proceedings occassioned by his appearance, may opt for the collection of his sons certificates already in the courts custody and bring a separate action against Etiaba, based on his remarks in open court and the disputed letter from the chief registrar of the supreme court.