The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has confirmed that it duly sent a copy of the letter clearing Mr. Kunle Ogunba, whose Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) rank was withdrawn by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), to Honeywell Group.
It said the letter was sent to Honeywell twice, adding that the first was through an e-mail, and again via courier service.
Honeywell had issued a statement raising doubts about the authenticity of the letter, saying it did not receive a copy.
NBA, in the February 20 letter signed by its General Secretary, Isiaka Abiola Olagunju, cleared Ogunba of any wrongdoing for the second time.
The association dismissed Honeywell Groupâ€™s petition, holding that it did not disclose any prima facie case of professional misconduct against Ogunba as alleged by Honeywell.
The LPPC, based on a petition by Honeywell Group, had announced the withdrawal of Ogunbaâ€™s rank and privileges.
Olagunju said contrary to Honeywellâ€™s claims in media reports, the letter was actually sent to the group twice.
The NBA General Secretary said in a statement: â€œThe NBA Disciplinary Committee Panel B issued a report on Honeywell Groupâ€™s petition to the effect that there was no prima facie case against Mr Kunle Ogunba. The NBA leadership does not intervene in the activities of the panel.
â€œImmediately the panel issued its report, it was sent to Honeywell Group through e-mail on February 27, 2018. It was sent to the e-mail address provided on Honeywellâ€™s letter.
â€œWhen Honeywell Group claimed they did not get the report, again last week, the NBA sent a hard copy of the letter via courier service to Honeywell Group. It is not clear why Honeywell keeps saying it has not received the letter clearing Ogunba.
â€œIf they did not receive the letter, they could have contacted the General Secretary asking him to confirm the position. Thatâ€™s the position.â€
NBA, in the statement issued and made available to newsmen by its Publicity Secretary Mr. John Unachukwu, said the clarification was necessary in view of media reports that Honeywell did not receive the letter clearing Ogunba.
LPPC had acted on Honeywellâ€™s petition in withdrawing Ogunbaâ€™s rank.
But the NBA under its former President Augustine Alegeh (SAN) first cleared Ogunba of the allegations.
In an August 5, 2016 letter signed by its then General Secretary, Afam Osigwe, in response to Honeywell Groupâ€™s petition against Ogunba, the NBA said it would not refer him to its Disciplinary Committee.
â€œWe regret to inform you that a careful reading of the petition failed to disclose any alleged infraction of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007 in respect of which Mr. Kunle Ogunba could be called upon to offer an explanation,â€ it said.
NBA again in the February 20, 2018 letter to Honeywell Group said: â€œWe write to inform you that the NBA Disciplinary Committee, Abuja, Panel B has concluded the hearing of your petition.
â€œIt is the decision of the panel that your petition does not disclose a prima facie case of professional misconduct against the respondent.
â€œIn the light of the decision of the panel, your petition against the respondent is hereby dismissed. We thank you for your cooperation.â€