FG Restates Commitment To Fight Against Corruption

Muhammadu-Buhari-meet-State-House-correspondents-in-AbujaThe Federal Government has reaffirmed it’s commitment t‎o the fight against corruption with a vow to investigate, arrest and prosecute anyone who dip his hands in the coffers of the state to enrich himself.

Speaking at a State of the Nation conference organized by the Nigerian Bar Association, the Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, said 21 out of 36 states are technically insolvent largely due to corruption.

He warns those who take delight in shielding ‎corrupt persons to retrace their steps as the federal government’s fight against corruption is a holistic one which will not spare anyone.

The Chairman of the NBA Committee on the administration of justice‎ advocated speedy trial of criminal cases just as a member of the House of Representatives, Lynda Ikpeazu, announced plans by the legislature to amend the EFCC and ICPC Act.

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh, advised the Federal Government to take steps to arrest issues of security and the economy.

Channels Television’s Lucky Isawode, reports that the one-day event, which ‎aims at reviewing one year of democracy under President Muhammadu Buhari was focused on the rule of law, economic growth, security and the war against corruption.

Judiciary’s Bad Image Has Impeded Investments In Nigeria – Osinbajo

Yemi-OsinbajoNigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday said the narrative that justice can be bought in Nigeria is a serious problem impeding investments in the country.

Prof Osibajo added that for Nigeria to experience the kind of development the current administration wants to bring about, there will be a need for the justice sector to deal with the issues of integrity, insisting that not doing so will only continue to clog the wheel of economic development.

Speaking on the role of law in national development, the vice president said the current administration is committed to developing the nation and its economy.

According to the vice president, if the justice sector does not purge itself of corrupt practices, it will continue to slow down the wheel of development in the nation.

He explained that while the administration is committed to plugging loop holes of corruption and mismanagement and removing needless bureaucracy to free up the economy, its objective can only be achieved with the support of the Nigerian bar and bench.

Another member of the panel and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Joseph Daudu, advocated for an open system of appointment in every sector of the economy as one of the critical antidote to the menace of corruption in the country.

Buhari Urges Nigerian Lawyers Not To Cover Misdeeds Of Crooks

Muhammadu-BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari Sunday in Abuja urged Nigerian lawyers not to sacrifice the integrity of the country’s legal system in a bid to cover the misdeeds of their clients, no matter how lucrative the brief may be.

Speaking at the opening of the 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), President Buhari called on Nigerian lawyers to support his administration’s war against corruption and help the country return to the path of rectitude by making Nigerian courts functional and effective again.

“I am convinced that law, law-makers, lawyers, law courts and the law enforcement agencies all have pivotal responsibilities to discharge, if the change we seek is ever to materialise.

“As you all know by now, this administration has taken on the challenge of improving security, fighting corruption and revamping the economy, among many others.

“The fight against corruption is in reality a struggle for the restoration of law and order. Corruption and impunity become widespread when disrespect for law is allowed to thrive in society. Disrespect for law also thrives when people get away with all sorts of shady deals and the court system is somehow unable to check them.

“Ability to manipulate and frustrate the legal system is the crowning glory of the corrupt and, as may be expected, this has left many legal practitioners and law courts tainted in an ugly way.

“In a gathering such as this, I do not need to elaborate on the way that corruption and impunity have damaged our economy. But I would like to say more on what, I believe, should be your role as legal practitioners, in helping us back to the path of rectitude.

“First, we need to make our courts functional and effective again. This means that we must have lawyers who take the ethics of the profession very seriously; lawyers who will not frustrate the course of justice, even though they defend their clients with all legitimate means and resources.

“Nigeria needs ethical lawyers who always keep the end of justice in mind and will never sacrifice the integrity of the legal system to cover the misdeeds of their clients, no matter how lucrative the brief may be,” President Buhari told the country’s lawyers.

Noting that lawyers are often in the vanguard of the defense of human rights, President Buhari urged them to view corruption too as a gross violation of human rights.

“For the masses of our people, the millions still wallowing in want and diseases, corruption is a major reason why they cannot go to school; why they cannot be gainfully employed; and why there are few doctors, nurses and drugs in their hospitals and health centers. It is the reason why pensioners are not paid and potable water is scarce.

“In effect, corruption diverts public resources meant for millions of people into the private pockets of a greedy few, thereby causing a lot of suffering, deprivation and death. In my view, there can be no greater violation of human rights.

“Viewed in this way, I think we can all fully appreciate the gravity of this oppressive and destructive evil. This should rouse us to fight it with the same zeal and doggedness as we deploy in the defense of fundamental rights,” President Buhari said.

The President also urged Nigerian lawyers to work for a more efficient and effective legal system which, he said, will help to attract more investments to the country and accelerate the pace of national economic development.

“Increased engagement with the outside world is called for as we seek public private partnerships in our quest for enhanced capital and expertise. There is no doubt that all these depend on enforceable agreements and a reliable legal system.

“Contracts are only good to the extent that they are enforceable without undue delay. If by the default of lawyers or the law courts, it is found that cases take ages to conclude or that the judicial system is somehow corruptible, we obviously cannot attract the kind of partnerships which we need or which our large vibrant economy would ordinarily have attracted.

“The world today has been correctly described as a global village. Capital and expertise are readily mobile. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn between our country and others when the choice of where to do business is being made. Our current position in this respect is not good enough. Our process for obtaining licenses and permits are too slow. It takes too long a time to enforce contracts in our law courts and our regulatory and administrative processes are not noticeably predictable or efficient.

“In all these lawyers have a key role to play, whether in the reform of our laws and regulation or in the integrity of our judicial systems. It is my fervent hope that this conference and other fora of lawyers and non-lawyers will closely and quickly work out ways of making our legal system much improved in terms of integrity, the human touch, efficiency and rigorous dedication to the cause of justice,” President Buhari said.

The President assured the gathering that his administration will give its full support to the implementation of the required legal reforms if it is convinced that they are in the best interest of the nation.

Fashola Swears-In Three New Judges

Governor-FasholaLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola today sworn in three new judges into the state judiciary.

The three judges are Justice Obafemi Abdul Afis Adamson, Justice Adedayo Adeola Akintoye and Justice Olabisi Ogungbesan.

Before their new appointment, Justice Ogungbesan and Adamson were senior official of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice while Justice Adeola was a serving magistrate in the state judiciary.

The three new judges brings to 57, the number of judges in the state. While 41 of the judges are female, 16 are men.

Speaking at the ocassion, Fashola said he is confident that the new judges would dispense justice with utmost fairness and dedication.

He urged the judges to develop themselves as changing world trends are are currently redefining the way justice is been administered.

“Your quest for knowledge must be unending. The world is changing and new trends are defining how justice is dispensed across the world. You must kept yourselves updated with these trend” he charged the judges.

Fashola also assured the judges that the state government remains commitment to the welfare of the judiciary.

He said that new courtrooms located at Epe and Badagry would soon be commissioned by the state government.

In her address, Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olajumoke Atilade urged the new judges to live above board and conduct themselves according to the code of conduct of judicial officers.

Justice Atilade noted that the new judges with their wealth of experience would help to ease the work load on other judges occasioned by rising population of Lagos and crave for justice.

She urged the judges to be morally upright in dispensing justice in the state judiciary.

Earlier while presenting the judges, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye noted that the State Judicial Service Commission, serving judges, members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and all others have scrutinized the new judges designate and unanimously found them worthy before presenting them to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Ipaye added that the NJC had in turn examined the candidates’ qualifications, Competence, experience and integrity before approving their appointment.

He added that the appointment of the new judges was necessitated by the increasing quest of Lagos residents for justice and the need to moderate the workload of individual judges.

INEC Faults Constitutional Provision On Defection

JEGA 3The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has faulted the constitutional provision on cross carpeting.

Speaking at the annual lecture of the Abuja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Legal Director at the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Bawa, said that whereas the constitution recommends sanctions for cross carpeting in the legislature, the law does not recommend any sanction for members of the executive who defect to another political party.

Mr Bawa said that position is not equitable and Nigerians should do something about it.

He was however, quick to explain that judicial pronouncements has helped the electoral commission to shape the Electoral Act to deliver credible elections.

The defection of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, last week to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has caused ripples within the Nigeria’s political system.

Law Weekly: Boma Ozobia Speaks On Possibilities Of More Responsive NBA

Boma OzobiaThe judicial staff workers strike, delayed justice, the politics in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and more, that’s our focus on this week’s episode of law weekly.

On the programme, former President, Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, Mrs Boma Ozobia shares her thoughts on how to make the Association more vibrant and responsive to national issues.

Ozobia is a cross border solicitor & advocate, a commercial & ADR specialist, who has held many titles and won so many laurels.

Fashola Advices Lawyers To Restrict Themselves To Area Of Specialization

Gov-FasholaLagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has charged law officers in Nigeria to restrict themselves to their areas of specialization when accepting briefs from clients in order to minimize delays in discharging cases at the courts.

Governor Fashola who was speaking at a one-day Law Conference held at the City Hall in Lagos, said the major reason there are delays in court processes in the nation’s courts was the issue of those he described as ‘non- trial lawyers’ accepting cases and going to court to handle such cases, adding that the result of such situations was unnecessary adjournments.

Fashola compared the situation with what obtains in other professions, arguing that just as in the medical profession where a practitioner who is not a surgeon cannot go into the theatre, a non-trial lawyer would only be a nuisance in a trial court as he would be lost before a trial judge.

“How many of us really are trial lawyers and how many of us admit that they are not trial lawyers and still go to court? Because it is not every medical practitioner that is a surgeon, so some of those clear distinctions must be made”, the Governor said, charging participants at the on-going conference to “at least ventilate if not resolve the issue”.

Commenting on the argument that solicitors should be separated from barristers, Fashola noted that, “these are some of the hard pills we may have to swallow”, adding that the distinction has been made a long time ago in the judicial system of the United Kingdom.

He maintained that a trial lawyer who comes to court knows the environment, what the rules are and how the system operates adding that just as a non-surgeon would be fumbling around in the theatre until the patient may die, a non-trial lawyer would continue to fumble and delay justice.

“And that is a serious undertaking that we are dealing with – human lives, peoples’ fortunes and we could do with some real professionalism in the country so that you don’t have practitioners in the courts who are fishing for an answer”, the Governor said.

Citing some of the actions of non-trial lawyers that cause delay in court, Fashola said, “They will deny every plea you claim; they will deny even the name of the plaintiff. What happens is that the plaintiff will now be first put on trial to prove that he is who he is and all these take time. It is only when the issues are in control of professionals that you could have a real trial’, adding, “It is the lack of experience because they don’t know what to do; it is not their area of specialization”.

He also advised lawyers to debunk the concept that they must win every case they handle in court pointing out that a lawyer should restrict himself to getting justice for his client  according to the rule of law adding that if lawyers understand this and put it into practice it would narrow down the issues in court.

“The concept that lawyers must win a case is a concept that must go out of the window. Lawyers are trained and paid to help their clients get justice according to the law and not to win cases. If trial lawyers understand this and put to practice what we will achieve first is the narrowing of the issues”. Governor Fashola said

He urged Judges to insist on trial lawyers narrowing down the issues in court to avoid unnecessary waste of time.

Governor Fashola also advised lawyers to restrain their clients from going to court, when it is possible, adding that giving their clients honest advices on whether or not to go to court would, in addition to reducing unnecessary litigations in court and putting pressure on judges, earn the confidence of clients for the law officer as it would save money that would have been spent on a fruitless pursuit.

He agreed with the suggestion that law officers must be made to pay for wasting the time of the court on any case arguing that the right to be heard does not mean the right to be a nuisance.

“I agree that we must make some serious evaluation in the matter of cost and you cannot do that without some modification of the rules. Perhaps part of the modification is to see the roles that we the operators of the rules play as lawyers and judges and other members of the judicial system”, he said.

Governor, who highlighted other factor that could cause delay in court processes such as lack of adequate infrastructure including Power supply, said the Lagos State Government  has done a lot in the last 14 years to correct the anomaly adding that the administration has built courtrooms and upgraded the magistracy as well as supplied Power through its Independent Power Project.

Fashola who commended the ministry of Justice for the conference said his administration undertook to increase the jurisdiction of the magistracy and expand it in order some relief to the High Courts because there were cases that were piling up in the high courts that could to provide be dealt with at the magistracy level adding that it was done to complement the high court reforms that were made during the tenure of Professor Yomi Oshibanjo as the State’s Chief law Officer.

NBA President Blames Unlawful Arrests For Congestion Of Prisons

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Okey Wali, has absolved lawyers from the high number of awaiting trial suspects in Nigerian prisons but rather put the blame on several factors which include arbitrary arrest of innocent citizens by police among others.

Mr Wali, while speaking with Channels TV in Ilorin, noted that judges should not grant the request of lawyers who seek for unnecessary adjournment in order to reduce prison congestion while also lamented lack of vehicles by prison warders to convey suspects to courts among other factors responsible for high number of awaiting trial suspects in prisons.

Commenting on the letter written to the presidency to reinstate the retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami by the National Judicial Council (NJC) but which was not implemented; the NBA president absolves the president of any blame citing several court cases pending then as stumbling block in order not to incur the wrath of the courts.

On the issue of the one representative allotted to the bar for the national conference, the president insisted that the bar will not accept until the slot is increased wondering how others could be given higher slots.

Amaechi Decries Rising Cases Of Undemocratic Act By Politicians

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state has criticized what he called the rising cases of undemocratic acts by some politicians saying this portends grave danger for the 2015 general elections.

Addressing participants at a symposium on the review of the 1999 constitution and its impact on judicial reforms in Abuja, Mr. Amaechi advised judges to be prepared for multiple litigations as politicians will upturn results of elections with the connivance of those in authority.

Mr. Amaechi urges judges and lawyers to defend the nation’s democracy and blamed the current security challenges in the country on the absence of state police and the culture of impunity.

The factional chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) further told lawyers at the gathering that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has lost its voice saying this portends danger for the 2015 general elections.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who expressed support for judicial reforms, said a morally upright judiciary will help in upholding the tenets of democracy while a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher advised judges to work towards restoring the confidence of the people in the judiciary.

Former president of NBA and convener of the symposium, Mr. Joseph Daudu advocated a constitution that reflects the aspirations of the people.

The clamour for the separation of the office of the attorney general of the federation from that of the minister of justice and the issue of Holden charges are some of the issues that dominated discussions at the forum as legal experts expressed concern that the nations prisons are overcrowded due to Holden charges.

Dickson Commends NBA Over Support For Jonathan

The governor of Bayelsa state has commended the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for their declaration of support for President Goodluck Jonathan regarding his pronouncement of a state of emergency in three northern states and the setting up of a peace committee in the fight against terrorism in the country.

The governor said this on Thursday at the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the NBA at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa.

The NWC, which is regarded as the second highest decision making body of the NBA, began a three-day meeting in the state, hosted the Bayelsa state governor, a trained lawyer, who declared the meeting open.

The meeting afforded top legal functionaries of the state an opportunity to address the gathering.

Notable amongst them is the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri, who informed them of the  strides of the state judiciary   with emphasis on how Bayelsa state has become the only state in the federation with a functional Judicial Financial Autonomy Law.

President of the NBA, Okey Wali, (SAN) in his remarks addressed issues ranging from the declaration of a state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan, the constitution amendment, to the power tussle in the Nigerian Governors Forum.

He urged the governors to quickly resolve their problems or dissolve the body.

Governor Seriake Dickson on his part informed the lawyers of steps his administration has taken to entrench transparency and good governance in the state.

Speaking with Channels Television, Mr. Wali enjoined the federal government and other state executives to follow the example laid by Governor Dickson in granting the judiciary financial autonomy.

 

 

Fashola Charges Lawyers To Rise Against Culture Of Impunity

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday charged lawyers in the country to stand up against the rising culture of impunity in the country saying the Nigerian Bar Association would have the biggest blame if members with their requisite training and presence in diverse sectors do not fix the national problem.

Addressing a gathering of eminent jurists including the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, at the flag-off of a two-day Workshop with the theme, “The Rule of Law: The Bedrock for Sustainable Democracy and Development”, organized by the NBA Rule of Law Action Group, Governor Fashola said there was need for members of the legal profession to rise against the malaise because the rest of the citizenry were looking up to them.

The Governor declared, “My appeal to all of us here today, is to reach out to every member of this Association, in the Armed Forces, in the Police, in the Judiciary, in the Customs, in the Immigration Sector, in the Public Service. We must say no to the culture of impunity”.

 “Wherever and whenever you find anything that is contrary to law, speak up. Let us form a critical mass of a group of people who from today will rise up from this meeting and say that we will dedicate the rest of our lives to handing over to our children and their children a Nigeria that is better than the one that we inherited”, the Governor said.

The Governor stressed that the problem is more than the Government alone could handle adding, “Everybody has a role to play. But we owe that responsibility of leadership by virtue of who we are. We can talk all we can but the people who do not have our skill are looking up to us to act. People who do not have the privileges that we enjoy are looking to us to act. What we are here to do and the theme is not new.  What will be new is what we decide to do when we get up from here”.

Noting, however, that it would not be easy to dislodge those perpetrating the culture of impunity, criminality and other societal ills, Governor Fashola declared, “The culture of impunity that we see, the increasingly broken nature of our society, benefits some people and they will not give up those benefits freely. But we are sure that they are a very small minority and by the large number that we command, by the sheer decibel of our voices saying no at every time, to impunity, to criminality, to fraudulent conduct, to reprobate values, we will reclaim back the promise of this country”.

He warned that without adherence to the principles of Law and Order, the country was in danger of collapse pointing out that history was replete with such nations as the ancient Roman Empire which although gave the world the Common Law, collapsed when she turned her back to the Rule of Law.

Still insisting that Lawyers are in the best position to solve the problems of the country ,Governor Fashola declared, “I do not know any other people or group who are best trained, best endowed, and more knowledgeable to deal with problems of our country than lawyers”, adding that the society has entrusted  so much in the hands of lawyers.

“Our training has prepared us, unlike anyone else in the society, to be the ones to solve our society’s problems. So we would be doing a great disservice to our society if we are the ones that cause the problem. Whether it is in the Police, whether it is the Army, or the Customs or Immigration Service, our members are sufficiently represented”, the Governor said.   

According to the Governor, “The Rule of Law is a necessary condition for sustainable democracy and development. If we turn to ancient history, it is replete with nations which collapsed when they turned their back on the Rule of Law. But perhaps, the tragedy of human history was in the collapse of Ancient Rome”.

Thanking the organizers for the courtesy of their invitation, Governor Fashola said his acceptance to attend the occasion, in spite of the day being the Executive Council meeting day in the State, was informed by his commitment to the Rule of Law and Order adding that when he was inaugurated for the second term on May 29, 2011, the bulwark of his acceptance  speech was commitment to the Rule of Law.

“It was based on what I saw on the horizon. But, unfortunately, I did not see this far”, the Governor said adding; “The fact as we know it today is, however, not new to anybody. What will be new is what we are going to do when we leave here”.

In her remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, thanked the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association for fostering a harmonious relationship between the Bar and the Bench saying such relationship was imperative if the Judiciary must maintain its relevance in a democratic society.

“I seize this opportunity to appreciate the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association for their efforts at fostering a harmonious relationship between the Bar and the Bench. The relationship is important because the Judiciary in a democratic society cannot remain aloof of the realities of its operating environment even if only for the pragmatic necessity to maintain its relevance in the society. It has a critical role in mediating conflicts and upholding human rights through the application of the rule of law,” she said.

According to the Chief Justice, “The Rule of Law is a dynamic concept which must be employed not only to safeguard and advance the civil and political rights of the individual in a free society, but also to establish social, economic and educational conditions under which the legitimate aspirations and dignity of the individual and groups in the country may be realized and all these contribute to the sustainable democracy in the country”.

Also in her remarks, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips, charged the Nigerian Bar Association to think up what to do to save Nigeria from sinking into a state of anarchy adding that the time has come to discard foreign theories and formulate home-grown policies to deal with Nigerian problems.

“We cannot have a civil society without the rule of law. It is time for us to speak the truth to each other. Let us sit down and think of what to do to make Nigerians to obey the rule of law and order. Let us formulate our own theories and policies to deal with Nigerian problems. Let us be proactive”, she said.

In his goodwill message, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, expressed dismay that democracy has not necessarily enabled Rule of Law to thrive in the country adding, “There is need to revisit our Justice System, especially the Criminal Justice System,. The shortcomings in our Criminal Justice System have now become a matter of national insecurity”.

President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN, in his address, decried the culture of impunity that has, according to him, “bedeviled our nation”, adding regrettably that the culture has affected all aspects of the society including the Judiciary.

“We must arrest it or the society will collapse”, the NBA President said adding that for the Judiciary to be in the position to fight the situation, it must sanitize itself and regain its independence. “Independence of the Bar and the Bench is the Pillar of the Rule of Law”, he said.

The President commended Governor Fashola for not only his support to the Association but his dogged fight to reestablish the rule of law in the society adding, “We are determined to establish the rule of law and fight corruption”. 

Describing some lawyers as “television practitioners”, the NBA President told the Governor, “Do not mind some of us who are television practitioners. We are the ones working with you to restore the rule of law. We must defend the independence of the Judiciary always”.

Pointing out that the nation’s democracy is under attack, the NBA President condemned what he described as “arbitrariness’ going on in Port Harcourt, Rivers State saying nothing could justify such arbitrariness. He, however, called for increase in the budgetary allocation to the Judiciary pointing out that if the independence of the Judiciary must be maintained, it must be well funded.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chairman of the NBA Rule of Law Action Group, Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN), said for Nigeria to continue to stand tall in the comity of nations, “the rule of law must stand tall and continue to be the benchmark for determining the validity or otherwise of all actions by governments, governmental agencies, institutions and authorities”.

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.