The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, has expelled a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kunle Kalejaye, from further practising as a lawyer.
The LPDC disbarred Kalejaye after finding him guilty of professional misconduct by a five-man panel of the LPDC, led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.
The LPDC found Kalejaye guilty of misconduct while representing the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, at the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, where Oyinlola’s victory in the 2007 poll was being challenged, by the then candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
Kalejaye was said to have engaged in “confidential, private and confidential telephone conversation” with the Chairman of the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Thomas Naron, without the knowledge of the other party.
He allegedly engaged in the “unprofessional act” between March and June 2008 and Justice Naron, with whom he committed the misconduct, had since on February 20, 2013 been compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council.
The Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ekiti Division, Justice Paul Galinje, who read the directive (judgment of the LPDC), held that the prosecution, the Nigerian Bar Association, proved its three-count complaint against Kalejaye.
The NBA was represented by Jibrin Okutepa (SAN).
He held that Kalejaiye violated the provisions of sections 1, 15, 30, 31, 34 and 55 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners (2007).
The panel directed the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court to delete his name from the roll (list) of legal practitioners in the country.
The committee also directed that its decision should be served on the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Chief Judges of all the states of the federation, the Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, the Inspector General of Police and all states’ Commissioners of Police.
It also directed that the decision be published in the media.
Kalejaiye’s lawyer, Niyi Owolade, a former Attorney General of Osun State, had objected to the LPDC’s decision and said that his client was about filing his appeal at the Supreme Court.
Under the Legal Practitioners Act, Kalejaiye has up to 28 days to appeal the decision, failing which it will become effective.