Tony Osauzo, Benin
In reaction to recent allegation of money laundering levelled against the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Paul Usoro, the Benin branch of the association has called on all lawyers, irrespective of political leanings, to fight off what it termed ‘EFCC’s persecution and unwarranted intrusion’ into the practice of law and the legal profession.
Chairman of the Benin branch of NBA, Prince Collins Ogiegbaen, who made call at the 2018 Young Lawyers Forum held in Benin-City, urged lawyers to choose professionalism over politics and stand with the NBA National President.
Prince Ogiegbaen said the EFCC should not be allowed to extended unwarranted and unconstitutional jurisdiction over the contractual relationship that exist between a lawyer and his clients.
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Noting that the EFCC could not also constitute itself into an auditor or regulator of legal fees earned by lawyers, the Benin NBA chairman warned that there would be gradual erosion of the independence of the legal practice and the judiciary if such action of the EFCC is allowed to fester.
“It is my position that inherent in the present charges and undertaking of the Commission is a deliberate and calculated attempt to denigrate the person of Mr. Usoro and the office of the National President of the NBA and bring it to disrepute as well as ridicule it for political ends.
“The EFCC is in serious breach and violation of the client-lawyer privileges”, Ogiegbaen said.