Ex-NBA chief, Alegeh, SAN plots to sack Awomolo, as Body of Benchers’ chair

  • Gets court order to stop his removal as BoB Appointment Committee chair

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Augustine Oyarekhua Alegeh, SAN, is plotting to remove a respected silk and Chairman of Body of Benchers, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN from office.

Alegeh who is aggrieved by the decision of Chief Awomolo, SAN to remove him as the Chairman of Appointment Committee of BoB has already filed a lawsuit at the registry of the Federal high court in Lagos to secure required order to unseat the prominent silk.

In fact, he had approached the court by way of an exparte motion to remove Awomolo from office before the hearing of his substantive case against the BoB chair.

But the trial high court judge, Justice A. Lewis-Alagoa, had turned down the invitation by Alegeh on the account that he could not grant such an order exparte.

The judge who said Alegeh’s request could only be considered at interlocutory stage however stopped the Chairman of Body of Benchers, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN from removing Alegeh, SAN as Chairman of Body of Benchers Appointment Committee pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

Chief Awomolo, SAN assumed leadership of the Body of Benchers on April 1, 2024.

The Body of Benchers is the legal body of practitioners of the highest distinction in the legal profession, which is responsible for the formal call to the Bar of persons seeking to become legal practitioners as well as disciplining of erring lawyers.

He took over from a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Justice Mary Ukaego Odilli after her tenure expired.

But as soon as  Chief Awomolo took over, few of the decisions he took regarding how he intended to run the BoB in the next one year enraged few members of the august body including a life bencher and former President of the NBA, Mr Alegeh, SAN.

Although there were informal meetings arranged by the duo of Awomolo and Alege to settle the grievances between them, all efforts proved futile.

Alegeh who is presently in court is urging the trial high court judge to restrain Chief Awomolo, SAN from further holding the exalted office of the chairman of Body of Benchers.

In the substantive suit now pending before the Federal high court, Alegeh, SAN, gave four reasons he wanted the court to sack the BoB chair.

According to him, Chief Awomolo, SAN upon his assumption of office allegedly reconstituted unilaterally the various standing committees of the BoB in flagrant breach and violation of the Benchers’ Regulation.

He also accused him to have unilaterally reduced the tenure of office of members of various committees of the BoB appointed by his predecessor and former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili from three years to two years in violation of the body’s regulation.

Alegeh also alleged that Chief Awomolo, SAN created unilaterally and illegally an Executive Committee for the Body of Benchers, side-tracking the standing committees of the BoB legally set up by his predecessors and made the purported illegal Executive Committee to approve all the projects and programmes of his administration for the next one year.

Besides, he said Chief Awomolo, SAN was recently accused by the Chairman of Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) to have engaged in forgery, criminal misrepresentation, impersonation and fraud which he claimed is unbecoming of a person holding his high office.

In the originating summons filed by Alegeh, SAN, at the registry of the Federal high court, Lagos,  he formulated six questions for the court to answer.

He said if the court answers the questions in his favour, he wanted the court to issue six declaratory orders and three injunctive reliefs including a declaration that his appointment as chairman of the Appointment Committee of the BoB is valid and subsisting for a period of three years from the date of his letter of appointment dated March 28, 2024.

He also wanted the court to declare that his purported  removal from office contrary to the clear provisions of Regulation 11(7) of the Body of Benchers regulations made pursuant to Section 3(5) of the Legal Practitioners Act 2014 as amended is unlawful, null and void.

Alegeh also wanted the court to declare that Awomolo has no powers to unilaterally reduce the tenure of the committee members from three to two years let alone renaming and reconfiguring and or disbanding any of the standing committees of the BoB.

Besides, he wanted the court to declare that Chief Awomolo cannot unilaterally create a standing committee christened “The Executive Committee” to supplant the ones created by his predecessor.

He consequently wanted the court to sack Chief Awomolo as chairman of BoB following his purported continuous breach of the Regulations of the BoB, his public statement to the effect that he is not bound by the Benchers regulation and in the face of the forgery allegation, criminal misrepresentation, impersonation and fraud made by the BOSAN against him.

Chief Awomolo , SAN is yet to respond to the suit.


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