Mr. Bernard Agu the recently derobed legal practitioner on the order of the LPDC has finally commented on the recent decision which has affected his career as a legal practitioner.
In a statement made by Mr. Agu and made available to TheNigerialawyer, he stated that the whole happenings amount to nothing but a witchunt masterminded by Isreal Okunade Olorundare, SAN, over the past years. Pointing accusing fingers to the learned silk, Mr. Agu have grounds upon which the decision of the Committee will be appealed. According to him, there happens to be a flaw in the procedure followed.
”The direction delivered by the LPDC on 31st october, 2017, directing the Chief Registrar of the supreme court to delist my name from the role of legal practitioners for alleged misconduct is a comprehensive witchunt masterminded by Isreal Okunade Olorundare, SAN, over the past years.
The direction will be appealed on the following grounds:
(a) Contrary to laid rules and decided authorities by the same LPDC in NBA v. Kunle Kalejaiye , SAN (2016),6 NWLR(pt.1508) 393 @419, NBA v. Lambo (2016),10 NWLR (pt.1519) 197@207, NBA v.Atie (2016),10 NWLR (pt.1520),394@422.
The combined position of law is to the effect that the pecularity of the procedure before the LPDC is that complaints are presented to the committee after the complainant NBA had conducted its investigation and come to conclusion that a prima facie case has been made out against the respondent.
The finding of a prima facie case provides the basis for presenting the complaint to LPDC.
It is pertinent to note here that the NBA Committee set up to investigate the petition against me was headed by Awa Kalu SAN, in its letter dated 10th May, 2016 to NBA and by extension LPDC, stated that it has not investigated the petition before it. It further demanded a retrieval of the petition from LPDC. However inspite of this clear letter, LPDC insisted and continued with same.
(b)The Complaint/Charge before the LPDC is on the same set of facts constitutive of the criminal charge No:Fct/Hc/cv/62/11, wherein the Fct High Court dismissed allegations of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation levelled against me. The judgement has not been appealed and remain binding against all.
(c) Ironically, E.C.Aguma, SAN, was one of the very senior counsel that prepared and filed the complaint against me before the LPDC. The same E.C.Aguma, SAN, sat and participated as a member of LPDC in their proceedings dated 21st Nov.2016 and following a prosecutor and a judge
(d) We have pending appeal before the court of appeal on the total competency of this case.
(e) J.B.Daudu, SAN, presiding as Chairman LPDC over the complaint, also deployed his law firm J.B.Daudu SAN & CO as counsel vigorously defending LPDC in the suit, I brought against LPDC before the FCT high court and now at the court of appeal abuja.”
TheNigerialawyer recalls that in the case of NBA v Bernard Afu No. LPDC/171/15, Bernard Agu was accused of collecting the sum of N31,000,000 on consent judgment for his client without the authority of his client.
It was further alleged that the client after discovering demanded for the sum but the respondent (Bernard Agu) could not pay the sum of N11,500,000. Consequent upon that, the client sued him at the FCT High Court Abuja got a judgment against the respondent in the sum of N11.5 million.
The committee while giving its verdict invoked Rule 1 and 14 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, stating that Bernard Afu conduct for misappropriating N11.5million of his client money was nefarious, and therefore struck off his name from the rolls of Legal Practitioners.