The Chairman, Body of Benchers (BOB), Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN, has advised lawyers not to see the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) as a forum for settling scores with imaginary enemies.
Olanipekun made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the Call to Bar ceremony for 1,491 new lawyers, held by the BOB at its secretariat in Jabi.
According to Olanipekun, the LPDC, as an independent agency of the BOB, serves solely as an avenue through which it exercises the power to discipline any erring legal practitioner.
“Over the years, the LPDC, has continued to operate as an independent arbiter, enjoying absolute independence in the course of carrying out its assignment.
“The Body of Benchers does not and will not interfere with any of the proceedings or outcome of such proceedings before the LPDC.
“It is important to point out that the LPDC is not an avenue for dealing with perceived enemies or ventilation of grievances against fellow lawyers on personal issues.
“The decision of the LPDC is known as direction, and any appeal against the direction goes directly to the Supreme Court,” he said.
He said the body was concerned over what he described as the unethical practice of forum shopping and hinted of plans to evolve regulations to address the problem.
“You are no doubt aware of the disturbing trend of forum shopping in Nigeria, a very reprehensible conduct introduced to the practice of law recently.
“This is the act whereby litigants and legal practitioners shop for ‘friendly venues and judexes’ to file and litigate otherwise frivolous and questionable causes, purportedly arising out of the jurisdictions where the actions are eventually filed, pursued and prosecuted.
“This ugly practice is permeating the entire Nigerian legal landscape, leading to the churning out, on regular basis, of conflicting orders and decisions of courts of coordinate jurisdictions.
“As a result of this, the legal profession is being brought to disrepute and opprobrium, leading to tirades, venoms and uncomplimentary remarks and sentences being passed on the legal profession and some of our judges.
“Be informed that the BOB, by virtue of the powers conferred on it by Section 10 (1)(c) of the Legal Practitioners Act has now set up a regulations committee, empowered to make regulations for the decent practice of law in Nigeria.”
He also said the committee had submitted a draft regulation to the BOB and the regulations, when approved, would become binding on all legal practitioners.
This, he said would restrict them to initiating and filing causes and matters where the said causes of action arise or as provided by the rules of the adjudicating courts.
“Just as it is provided under the Matrimonial Causes Rules, lawyers will be required to sign and file certain forms and documents, indicating compliance with the regulations before filing any originating process at trial courts.
“Any infraction or breach of the regulations would amount to professional misconduct,” Olanipekun said.
The senior lawyer who is a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), stressed the need for lawyers to always uphold the time-tested morals and ethical standards of the legal profession.
“I admonish you all to carefully and soberly go through the provisions of the rules of professional conduct in the legal profession, as the rules regulate all your conducts
“Be it as a practicing lawyer in private legal practice or in any of our various ministries of justice, or as a solicitor, working in any private establishment, institution, company, organization or body.
“You should not assume that the rules are meant to regulate and control legal practitioners in what is commonly known as ‘active legal practice’ or the private Bar.
He added that adherence to the rules was a condition precedent to success at the bar and the legal profession.
“ I plead with you, as you join the bar, to always strive at being an added value to the nobility, honour, dignity and respect of the profession, rather than coming to deplete and discount the established virtues the profession has stood for over the ages.”
Also speaking, the Director-General of the Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu-Chiroma said that the ceremony had to be shifted from Bwari to the BOB complex due to threats by terrorists and bandits to attack the Law School.
He said that the graduands had been found worthy in character and in learning hence their induction into the Nigerian Bar as lawyers.
Ciroma appreciated the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector -General of Police, Director- General of State Security Services (DSS,) Civil Defense Commandant and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for providing adequate security.
December Salary Delayed To Allow Workers Meet New Year Financial Obligations
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN,CON on Tuesday said his administration has fulfilled its promise not to owe workers’ salaries in the state.
Governor Akeredolu, who disclosed that government has already paid up till November, 2022, explained that the December salary was delayed on the advice of the Labour leaders to allow workers meet new year financial obligations.
The Governor assured that the December salary will be paid soon, while promising that the one month remaining from the inherited seven months salary arrears will also be paid before the end of his tenure.
“As you are aware, you received three alerts in December. We paid October and November, 2022. You also received leave bonus. We would have paid December but the Labour leaders advised that we delay it till January to allow you meet financial obligations. Students will resume soon. We will pay school fees.
“Also,we inherited seven months salary arrears, we paid six. Before I leave office, I will pay the remaining one.” He said.
Governor Akeredolu spoke at the Annual Prayer Meeting with Public Servants on the first working day of the year, held at the Governor’s park, Governor’s office, Akure, the state capital.
He assured that his administration would continue to give priority consideration to the well-being of the Public Service amidst competing demands from other segments of the State.
The Governor noted that in spite of the State’s lean resources, his administration will continue to do more and not shy away from its responsibility.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said he was glad to hear good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt promotion, regular elevation, payment of inherited salary arrears and leave bonus.
He also described as heartwarming, the workers’ testimonies on the new Duty Tour Allowance, training and retraining, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others.
The Governor further assured of his administration’s resolve to improve the quality of lives of the people and deliver on promises.
Arakunrin Akeredolu thanked all public servants in the State for their cooperation, particularly the organised Labour for their understanding.
He explained that without the commitment of the workforce, his administration would not have recorded the modest feats achieved in its policy thrust.
On the 2023 General Elections, the Governor called on civil servants and the people at large to play by the rules while exercising their franchise at the poll.
“Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that public servants are not expected to be involved in partisan politics. Absolute loyalty and commitment should be the watchword of the service.
“Again, political discourse should be civil with decorum and in statutory manner. You will note that our Administration has insulated the bureaucracy from partisan politics.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele disclosed that 8,415 Public Servants across the State were promoted with financial benefits in 2022.
While thanking the Governor for his continued support in all areas pertaining to issues affecting public servants in the State, the Head of Service described the Governor as worker-friendly.
“Thanks to Arakunrin’s commitment to workers’ welfare in ensuring the payment of all outstanding salaries. The present administration, in a bid to reduce shortfall in the workforce, has continued to recruit fresh hands in the critical areas of need.
“For instance, 52 temporary staff of the Ondo State Emergency Medical Services Agency (ODEMSA) were recently given permanent appointments. Moreover, Ondo State workers and retirees have had a new lease of life under this Administration.
“For instance, a number of staff of the Owena Press Limited who retired long years ago received their gratuities last month. The Orange Health Insurance Scheme (ORANGHIS) was inaugurated to give public servants and their immediate family members access to qualitative health care in preferred health facility of choice at low or no cost.” Ogundele said.
In his remarks, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye thanked the Governor for prioritising workers’ welfare.
He disclosed that Governor Akeredolu has paid 76 months salaries within the 70 months and one week of his administration.
“Let me say this clearly with every pride in me, on behalf of workers of Ondo State, that Arakunrin Akeredolu has spent 70 months and one week as the Governor of Ondo State, and he has paid 76 months salaries.” He said.
In his exhortation, the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Ondo Province and Bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Bishop Oluwole Borokini, congratulated the people for making it to the new year.
He admonished the workers to be loyal, committed to duties and shun corrupt practices in all their activities.
The prayer meeting was attended by the deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun; Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Odusola; members of the State Executive Council; Bishop of Owo Anglican Diocese, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi; the Founder of Agape Christian Ministries, Bishop Felix Adejumo; the state CAN chairman, Bishop Anselm Ologunwa; PFN chairman in the state, Bishop Joshua Opayinka; State Pastor, Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Jacob Osubiojo; APC state chairman, Ade Adetimehin; heads of security agencies in the state; top government functionaries and public servants, among several dignitaries.
Yuletide: Governor Ikpeazu provides free buses for Abians in the North
In line with the Christmas and New Year celebrations which normally see Christians, especially Igbos travelling to the hinterland to join their families for the celebrations, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has provided free buses for Abians living in the Northern part of the country to enable them travel to the State for the celebrations.
The free buses which are provided for Abia residents in Jos Plateau, Mararaba Nasarawa, Minna Niger, kwara and Gwagwalada FCT this morning, 30th December, 2022, took off from the various cities to Abia.
Speaking to news men on the development, the Liaison Officer Abia Liaison Office Abuja, Mr. Joseph Nwagbara said Abia government in a bid to subsidise transport fares for Abians living in the North, provided the buses. He added that it is one of the democracy dividends of the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
In their separate remarks, some passengers of the bus from Mararaba Nasarawa axis including Mr. Udo Ibezim from Ubakala and Christy Ibe from Umuahia South expressed joy at the gesture by the Governor. They said, with economic crunch biting so hard on Nigerians, many could not afford their transport fares back home.
According to them, the free bus has given them the opportunity to travel home to relate with their families as well as know what is happening in the State, including the developmental efforts of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. They commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the gesture and prayed God to bless him and his administration.
UNN, Enugu Campus, Business Administration (2008 Set) Reunion
The University of Nigeria (UNN), Enugu campus the 2008 set of Business Administration faculty, had their Reunion.
The former classmates arrived Lagos from different parts of the world on Friday, 28th October, 2022.
The main activity was hosted at Ronke Beach with a boat cruise sponsored by Easy-E, Anusi Marcel (Tiger) and Valentine chinedu Aniekwe.
Mr Ogan, Rogers John, the National Financial Secretary of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association encouraged graduates from the Institution to try and visit “The DEN”. He attended the event in the company of his wife, Mrs Chioma Rogers-Ogan, who happens to be one of them.
The highlight of the Reunion was the financial donations to set-up a Charity foundation in order to support the low income classmates..
They departed on Sunday, 30th October, 2022.
The occasion was chaired by Chief Ikelo Idika popularly known as Mamba.