NBA Debars Four, Suspends One Over ‘Infamous Misconduct’

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has debarred four legal practitioners for misconduct contrary to the rules of legal practice.

The association also suspended one of its members from practice for a period of five years for a similar offence.

The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) found the lawyers culpable of offences ranging from fraudulent land sales, concealment of recovered debt and extortion using blackmail.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Joseph Daudu warned legal practitioners  bringing “ridicule and disgrace to the legal profession”.

Those debarred include Timipa Okponipere, Anozie Ibebunjo, G.C Monyei , J.A Agwuncha ,while Olawale –Ojongo-Daniels  was suspended for five years.

Though none of the accused persons was at the proceedings, their absence did not stop the legal practitioners from handing down the punishment.

One of the accused persons, one Timipa Okponipere was said to have tried to extort the sum of N40 million from the former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Timi Alaibe for unsolicited nomination for the national merit award, an offence contrary to the rules of practice in Nigeria.

While Mr.  Monyei , who acted as a debt receiver for a company, failed to return the proceeds of  the recovery to its owners and Ojongo-Daniels  was found guilty of receiving money from a client and refused to represent the client in court nor did he refund the money.

Having found all the accused persons culpable of the offences against them, the committee directed the chief registrar of the Supreme Court to debar four of the accused persons for misconduct as lawyers, while Mr Olawale Ojongo-Daniels be suspended from practice for five years.

Over time the general belief is that corruption among legal practitioners has been on the rise, and, it is hoped that steps such as this one will serve as checks for legal practitioners in the country.