body of benchers

Why we didn’t act on NBA’s letter – Body of Benchers

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The Body of Benchers has explained why it did not act on a letter written by the Nigerian Bar Association requesting the BoB Chairman, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), not to preside over the recent call-to-Bar ceremonies.

It also expressed displeasure over the use of social media by the NBA to circulate official and sensitive documents.

In a statement signed by the Secretary, Body of Benchers, Daniel Real, dated December 8, it said, “Under AOB the president of the Nigerian Bar Association informed members that he had written a letter to the chairman of the body to which the chairman stated that although he had not read the letter, as it was not yet brought to his attention, he was aware of the fact that it had already been circulated in the media, particularly the social media, and that despite the fact that the letter was personally addressed to him, and not to the body, he was prepared to wave all his rights, as he would want it discussed one way or the other in view of the contents of the letter, which centered on his personality and integrity.”

According to the statement, although the NBA president had said he sent the letter to members’ emails on the evening of December 4, and also made copies of the said letter and brought it to the meeting, the majority of the members said they had yet to receive such mail.

It said some members were of the view that the letter was not ripe for consideration, assuming it was meant or addressed to the body.

“In spite of all the comments and contributions of members, the chairman still passionately pleaded that the matter is taken and made reference to a previous letter written in July 2022, on the eve of the call-to-Bar ceremonies. The majority of members were of the view that the chairman drops his insistence that the matter is conclusively decided, bearing in mind several factors, including the fact that the majority of the members did not receive the email, coupled with the fact the call-to-Bar subject was too important and central to the body, and the content of the letter was not such that could be taken under AOB,” the statement read in part.

The Body of Benchers further stated that “the letter was addressed to the chairman, Body of Benchers, therefore, there is a need for the chairman’s response to be received for proper consideration”.

While frowning at the use of social media to disseminate sensitive information, the BoB said it has deemed fit the need to clear the air following repeated calls to ascertain its position on the matter.

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