By Lukman Olabiyi
Ms Adekunbi Ogunde, a partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun & Co., accused of a violation of the rule of practice by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Wednesday, took a leave of absence from legal practice.
Ogunde had, on June 20, solicited a brief from SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Ltd, which had already engaged the law firm of Henry Ajumogobia, SAN. This led to the NBA’s call for disciplinary action against her by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).
In a statement entitled ‘My email correspondence of June 20, 2022, and subsequent events’ she signed on Wednesday, Ogunde regretted the distress her action had caused all concerned parties. She disclosed that contrary to some people’s beliefs, the firm had taken disciplinary action against her. She also expressed regret that her statement of June 27, where she owned up and clarified that the firm’s founding partner, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and others didn’t know that her action failed to douse tensions. Ogunde said: “Since I issued that public statement, like everyone else, I have read online a complaint filed against me at the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee by the First Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, and the subsequent letter written to my firm’s Founding Partner, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN.
That he should recuse himself from his position as the Chairman of the Body of Benchers.”
The lawyer added that though it might appear that remedial action had not been taken by herself or the firm, “by way of discipline, education, reform and rehabilitation concerning me, I wish to state that the firm took such steps, but did not believe its actions should be for the media’s attention.
“Unfortunately, the matter has become rather complicated and has affected me psychologically and Wole Olanipekun & Co. and my family. It has bred bad blood and, to my great pain, thoroughly embarrassed the firm’s Founding Partner, the innocent and dignified Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, OFR and everyone else at the firm.”