LPDC disbars lawyer in Olanipekun/Ajumogobia ‘influence peddling’ saga

Adebari Oguntoye
Adebari Oguntoye
Adekunbi Ogunde

The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) has struck out the name of Adekunbi Ogunde from the list of legal practitioners in Nigeria.

Akorede Lawal, spokesperson of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), told TheCable that the decision by the LPDC was reached on Thursday.

Lawal also said the sanction “is subject to the right of appeal of the counsel to the Supreme Court.”.

Ogunde, a former partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun, immediate former chairman of the Body of Benchers, had, in June 2022, admitted to sending an email to SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Ltd., soliciting a brief.

Despite being aware that the law firm of Henry Ajumogobia, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is handling the matter, Ogunde asked SAIPEM to consider hiring Olanipekun & Co, adding that the founder has more “influence” with judges across all courts.

Olanipekun has since apologised to Ajumogobia, stating that he never approved the email sent by Ogunde. Ogunde also apologised to Ajumogobia for the embarrassment, blaming her action on exuberance.

The NBA had, in a petition sent on July 20, asked the LPDC to prosecute Ogunde over “professional misconduct.”

In the petition, the NBA also asked the committee to consider whether the partners of the firm of Wole Olanipekun & Co. are not liable to be disciplined alongside Ogunde.

The NBA also demanded that Olanipekun resign on the ground that he could influence the processes of the LPDC since the committee is under the supervision of the Body of Benchers’ chairman.

In August 2022, Ogunde said the issue had affected her psychologically. Ogunde said after “consulting with family and the firm, and after a deep and thorough examination of all the facets of this hydra-headed problem,”  she has decided to “take a leave of absence from legal practice and get involved in the community and social work pro bono, with a few selected NGOs.”

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