NBA president Olumide Akpata absent as Body of Benchers meets

Olumide Akpata

President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata did not attend the Tuesday meeting of the Body of Benchers (BOB), has learnt.

The NBA had asked the BOB chairman Wole Olanipekun to recuse himself from his position.

In a letter dated July 22 and signed by Akpata, the legal body said the call became necessary for the emplacement of interim leadership, in order to allow the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) to investigate an alleged act of professional misconduct by one of Olanipekun’s partners.

At the Tuesday meeting held in Abuja, key stakeholders in the legal profession, including the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, and past chief justices Mahmud Mohammed and Walter Onnoghen, were present.

Also in attendance was Justice Mary Odili (retd), who doubles as the BOB vice-chairman.

Past presidents of the NBA, including Paul Usoro (SAN); O. C. J. Okocha (SAN); J.B. Daudu (SAN); Okey Wali (SAN) and A.B Mahmud (SAN), among others were also there. Some of them participated virtually.

The meeting by the BOB was held in furtherance of its traditional preparations for the call to var ceremonies scheduled for Wednesday, among other important issues bordering on the security of the nation, particularly as it affects the legal profession.

The BOB meeting, it was learnt, did not discuss NBA’s call for Olanipekun to step down.