The Legal Practitioner and Privileges Committee, LPDC, has been asked to expedite action into the probe of the allegation of professional misconduct against the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu state, Barrister George Ogara and one other legal practitioner, Barrister Ejike Obumneme.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Peter Mbah, had dragged the two lawyers before the LPDC, claiming that Barrister Obumneme filed a frivolous process against him, knowing fully well that it was false.
The CSO in a statement signed by Mr Lemmy Ughegbe, the Executive Director of MADI, called on LPDC to quicken its investigation into the allegation to protect the sanctity of the legal profession.
In the said petition, Mbah had accused Ogara of gross violation of the rules of professional conduct for legal practitioners, by supplying false information to mislead the court and malign him.
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In a separate petition, Mbah also accused Obumneme of filing frivolous and malicious processes based on information which he clearly knew or reasonably ought to know to be false.
Mr Ughegbe said in the letter to LPDC, “After painstakingly studying the petition and all documents related thereof, Make A Difference Initiative is duty bound to call on the LPDC to take urgent steps to investigate the claims of professional misconduct against Ogara and Obumneme in order to safeguard the sanctity of the temple of justice.
“Going by our own investigation of the facts of this case, we find compelling and persuasive grounds why Ogara and Obumneme have questions to answer for alleged professional misconduct.
“For instance, Ejike Obumneme filed a suit in the Federal High Court Abuja on behalf of Felix Ugwu & Others in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/2257/2022, seeking a declaration that by the express provisions of Section 182(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Dr. Peter Mbah, is ineligible to contest election to the office of Governor of Enugu State until after a period ten years from 7th day of July 2015.
“In the said suit, they alleged that Peter Mbah made a plea-bargain and a plea of guilty was entered on his behalf on July 7, 2015 in Charge No. FHC/L/09C/2007 supposedly preferred against him at the Federal High Court, hence he is an ex-convict.
“The plaintiffs further alleged that Justice M.N Yunusa of the Federal High Court found Peter Mbah guilty in the said Charge No. FHC/L/09C/2007 and consequently pronounced sentence of forfeiture of assets on him.
“However, a Certified True Copy of court ruling obtained by our organisation, clearly shows that Peter Mbah did not undergo any trial in the first place, let alone enter into any plea-bargain, as he was discharged from the said suit about two years before the said plea-bargain of July 7, 2015.
“As officers in the temple of justice, Ogara and Obumneme are aware of these facts, but choose to peddle this falsehood and use the court processes in utter desecration of the temple and in breach of Rules 1, 15, 24, and 32 of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007.
“We are also persuaded that Ogara, being the deputy governorship candidate of the APC in the same election that Dr. Peter Mbah is the governorship candidate of the PDP deliberately orchestrated this to gain electoral advantage over Mbah.
“It is in the interest of the sanctity of our electoral process and the legal profession that both Ogara and Obumneme do not go scot-free if indeed they have breached the Rules and ethics of their profession.”