Influence peddling: Lawyer faults Olumide Akpata’s recusal letter to Olanipekun

Influence peddling: Lawyer faults Olumide Akpata’s recusal letter to Olanipekun

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Benbella Anachebe has faulted the rationale behind the recusal letter written and signed by the Nigeria Bar Association

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Benbella Anachebe has faulted the rationale behind the recusal letter written and signed by the Nigeria Bar Association President, Olumide Akpata against the chairman of the Body of Benchers.

Anachebe noted that the letter of recusal should ordinarily not have been written given the status and rank of Chief Olanikepun in the association, alluding to an ulterior motive behind the letter.

“I will think as a former President of the Bar, he ought to have made personal contact with him alongside other senior members of the Bar. I have it on good authority that Chief Olanipekun… has not sighted a copy of the letter and the same has been released to the press. The fact that a junior in the Chamber of Chief Olanipekun wrote a letter and the content was considered to have violated the rules of practice does not justify asking Chief Olanipekun to resign.

“As a matter of fact, Chief Olanipekun has many friends, relatives and colleagues serving in his chambers or other chambers at the Bar. So does it mean that tomorrow, if anybody whom he knows is brought before the Committee, he has to step aside in order not to interfere with the proceedings?” the learned silk noted during the interview.

Anachebe also noted that Akpata should have shown respect to the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun who “was conferred with the rank of SAN in 1991 when the President of the NBA must either be in law school or the university”, noting further that Akpata should “have shown better respect or a better approach”.

The learned silk also stressed against blowing the matter out of proportion, pointing out that some persons are already doing so.