A legal luminary and Chairman of Body of Trustees, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has faulted the registration of a new body for lawyers, the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN), insisting that the new outfit is patently illegal and contrary to Nigerian laws, TheIdeal report.
Agbakoba, who is also a former President of the NBA, stated this on Monday during a telephone interview with TheIdeal not TheNigeriaLawyer in Abuja.
The Senior Advocate further opposed the LSN, arguing that the NBA is the only recognized association for legal practitioners in Nigeria.
The legal icon further argued that the NBA remains the only official outfit for Nigerian lawyers, saying that the LSN would soon fizzle out as it could not stand the test of time.
Agbakoba said, “ It (the LSN), is completely illegal and contrary to the laws of Nigeria that recognize NBA as the only constitutional body of lawyers.
“With high sense of responsibility, I speak for the NBA as the Chairman of the Body of Trustees.”
Meanwhile, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) had rejected registration of the new lawyers’ union- LSN.
Rejecting the new association in a document made available on Monday, the CAC cited conflict with the NBA, saying that its refusal to approve the name “Law Society of Nigeria” was due to the fact that the “name is closely similar to Nigerian Bar Association and will mislead” the stakeholders.
The CAC further disclosed that the LSN “ lacks the spread and national character.”
But the arrowheads of the new association has challenged the stance of the CAC.
In a protest letter by their solicitor and former General Secretary of the NBA, who now doubles as LSN’s Vice President, Mr. Nimi Walson-Jack, the promoters stated that they are “victims of patent error, probable administrative inadvertence, and oversight.”
Some of the names in new association include Mr Kunle Ogunba (SAN), Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Mr. Mela Audu Nunghe (SAN) and Amb. Garba Gajam. The Bar Leaders are also listed as Trustees of the new association.
Reacting to the CAC’s refusal, the Publicity Secretary of LSN, Mr. Douglas Ogbankwa, stated that it was when the CAC refused to register the proposed name in spite of the petition that the promoters opted for a recourse to a similar name earlier incorporated by the CAC.
But a senior lawyer , Prince Richard Oma Ahonaruogho (SAN), has challenged the new body for going public with its existence.
He added that the protem Executive Committee is “unknown to the Law Society of Nigeria (NLS), and should be disregarded by all Nigerian Lawyers and the Distinguished Body of Benchers of Nigeria to whom the letter dated 24th October, 2022, was written.”
But the new association has disclosed that it has the consent of the sole surviving trustee of LSN to go ahead with its objectives.