By Davidson Iriekpen
The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has restored Mr. Kunle Ogunba’s Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) rank.
The LPPC had on January 11 withdrawn the rank based on a petition by Honeywell Group alleging that he instituted multiple suits before different judges of the Federal High Court on the same subject matter.
It therefore accused the senior of abuse of process. But a notice dated September 20 and signed by Chief Registrar of Supreme Court/Secretary, LPPC, Hadizatu Uwani Mustapha, said the committee after a careful consideration of the letter and accompanying documents filed by Ogunba, found his character references to be valid.
The notice which was addressed to Ogunba, read: “Kunle Ogunba, SAN: Notice of restoration of the award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on your person with all its privileges.
“Further to your letter of September 11, 2018, in which you presented to the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee attached documents in compliance to the conditions laid down in paragraph 27 of Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee Guidelines 2018.
“The committee after a careful consideration of the letter and accompanying documents, found the character references to be valid and the applications for review granted.
“The committee hereby allow the restoration of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on your person and the privileges of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“You are hereby advised to conduct your case(s) in the best tradition of the legal profession, uphold the honour and dignity which the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria commands.”
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had cleared Ogunba twice of allegations of misconduct and abuse of court process.
The association on February 20 under its immediate past president, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), dismissed Honeywell Group’s petition accusing Ogunba of abuse of court process.
It said the petition did not disclose any prima facie case of professional misconduct against Ogunba as alleged by Honeywell. “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 against the respondent.
“In the light of the decision of the panel, your petition against the respondent is hereby dismissed. We thank you for your cooperation,” NBA said.
The NBA under its former president, Augustine Alegeh (SAN), had first cleared Ogunba of the allegations.
NBA had told Honeywell Group: “We regret to inform you that a careful reading of the petition, it failed to disclose any alleged infraction of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007 in respect of which Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) could be called upon to offer an explanation.”