Olanipekun speaks as NBA asks him to step down as Body of Benchers chairman

Wole Olanipekun

Senior lawyer Wole Olanipekun says he is yet to officially receive the viral letter from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) requesting him to step down as chairman of the Body of Benchers (BOB).

In June, a partner in Olanipekun’s law firm Adekunbi Ogunde attempted to snatch a client of another senior lawyer Odein Ajumogobia. The incident has been widely condemned among lawyers.

NBA president Olumide Akpata, in a letter dated July 22 and addressed to Olanipekun, urged the senior advocate to make way for an interim BOB chairman to guarantee justice and fairness in a probe against Olanipekun’s law firm over the incident.

The NBA said it would be in the interest of justice if Olanipekun steps down as BOB chairman considering the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), which has received NBA’s petition against Olanipekun’s law firm, is a committee under the supervision of the BOB chairman.

It also said Olanipekun has been in a situation where his continued occupancy of the office of BOB chairman during the course of the investigation would “conflict or be reasonably interpreted to conflict with or influence the processes of the LPDC” by the public and members of the NBA.

But Olanipekun told Sunday Vanguard that he did not understand why Akpata would write him such letter and circulate same document on social media without serving him a copy more than 24 hours after same had been released to the public.

“As we talk, I am yet to get a copy of the letter. People have been calling me but I can’t react to a document that I have not seen,” Olanipekun said.