THE Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has withdrawn the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) rank from a lawyer, Beluolisa Nwofor for conducting himself in a manner unbecoming of the holder of the title.
The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and the Secretary of the LPPC, Ahmed Gambo Saleh said in a statement that the decision to withdraw the SAN title and its privileges from Nwofor, who represented the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the legal battle for the party’s ticket ahead of last year’s governorship election in Ondo State was taken at the 126th general meeting of the LPPC held on June 22, 2017.
Saleh, in the statement dated June 22, 2017 but released late on Friday, said the meeting considered extensively the complaints filed by the Court of Appeal against Nwofor with his response to same and all the material facts.
“By reason of the foregoing, the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (including its privileges) has been withdrawn from B.E.I Nwofor Esq, forthwith,” the statement stated.
Recalled that Nwofor had an encounter with the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led three-man panel during the hearing of the Ondo state PDP case by the Court of Appeal.
Nwofor, in one of the proceedings, had confrontation between him and members of the Justice Saulawa-led panel, which snowballed into the filing of two motions before the Supreme Court by Nwofor on behalf of his client.
One of the motions asked for a stay of the appeal court’s proceedings, while the second motion also sought an order disbanding the Justice Saulawa panel.
The Supreme Court on November 22, 2016, dismissed the two motions, allowing the Justice Saulawa-led panel to go ahead to deliver its judgment in the Ondo State PDP case earlier reserved to await the decision of the apex court.
The motions, adjudged to be an abuse of court process which Nwofor filed on behalf of his clients angered the apex Court and, after dismissing them, awarded cumulative fines of over N10 million against the applicants and Nwofor, their counsel.
The Justice Saulawa-led panel of the Court of Appeal eventually on November 23, 2016, delivered its judgment in which it sacked Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP’s candidate in the governorship election.
The Court of Appeal in the said judgment returned the ticket to Jegede, who eventually contested but lost the November 26, 2016 poll to the All Progressives Congress (APC)’ candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).