The immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch, Mr. Ademola Adesina Ogunlana has made public his response to the invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged misappropriation of funds during his tenure as the Chairman of the branch.
In the said letter which he posted on his facebook page, Mr. Ogunlana took a swipe at both the EFCC and Mr. Femi Falana SAN accusing them of being partial and also accusing Mr. Falana SAN and the “Elders” and a group called “G6” of being behind his ordeal.
Below is his response as posted:
4th December, 2018
The Zonal Head, Lagos,
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
15A, Awolowo Road,
Ikoyi , Lagos.
RE: INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES: INVITATION LETTER
Your letter dated 18th October, 2018 on the above subject matter with reference number CR: 3000/EFCC/LS/EGC, inviting me to an interview with you on the 29th October, 2018, but delivered to my office on 9th November, 2018 refers.
Likewise under reference, is my letter of 12th November, 2018 in reaction to yours dated 18th October, 2018. Copies of these letters are herein attached.
I am compelled to raise the following issues as regards your invitation
(1) YOUR PARTIALITY STATUS VIS THE FEMI FALANA, SAN FACTOR.
Femi Falana, Esq. SAN, your well known consultant and I are both members of the NBA Ikeja Branch, but in different political and ideological camps. Falana and his group called “Elders” and another group called “G6” in the Tiger Bar are bitterly opposed to my group known as the “Progressive Bar Forum” (PBF) and pathologically opposed to my emergence as the Chairman of the Branch for 2016-2018.
The anti-PBF groups backed a Dele Oloke, Esq. in the fierce leadership tussle that polarized the NBA Ikeja for the 2016/2017 year resulting in factional leaderships. When I finally prevailed and became the undisputed leader on May 19, 2017, Falana and his Elders group were particularly unhappy and refused to participate in the Ikeja Bar activities, including shunning meetings, despite cessation of hostilities.
Falana’s group which craves for servile adoration and robotic obedience was uncomfortable with my leadership style which they considered too radical for comfort and certainly uncontrollable by them. They only came back to Branch meetings in April, 2018 in the aftermath of the well-received Land Use Charge Law, 2018 struggle against the Lagos State Government led by the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch under my captaincy, with the sole intention of watering down the tone of our uncompromising campaign against the unfortunate and oppressive taxes, in order to please the government of the day in Lagos State.
My problem as their hated and unwanted Branch Chairman, worsened when the Branch’s 2018 election was approaching as staunchly I disagreed with their group’s position that my erstwhile rival, Dele Oloke should succeed me as Chairman without election based on what they called “PEACE AGREEMENT OF MAY 19, 2017”.
I refused their proposal insisting that it was unconstitutional and beyond my capacity as no executive office of the Branch is hereditary or inheritable. I insisted on Dele Oloke’s participation in election for the post of Chairman. My position prevailed and this of course increased their gargantuan hatred for the PBF in general and myself in particular. The said Branch Election held on 26th June, 2018 and the same Dele Oloke became the Chairman. That same evening of 28th June 2018 at Oloke’s celebration party at G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos, Femi Falana, SAN attended and was hailed around as-the Godfather and architect of Oloke’s victory. Falana at the said gathering comprising largely supporters of Oloke uttered the following words inter alia, with all magisterial authority that:
“Gentlemen, it’s a day of joy and success. We have rubbished those who
do not respect agreement and their elders. Look, there are some of us here who are saying they wrote petitions to the EFCC and that it’s their petitions that worked. Don’t deceive yourself, it is my work. I am the one. I have the necessary connections with the EFCC. I will ensure that Ogunlana will be the first Chairman of the Branch to go to jail. He will rot in jail. You know the boy is so pompous, so arrogant. Can you imagine, that I was the one who did his case when he was expelled from the University but now he listens to nobody….”
Even after this shocking utterance, Falana’s choice Chairman, Dele Oloke and his G6 overlords like Bartholew Aguegbodo, Dan Okoye, Chinedu Ifezue etc. were always heard bragging about in the NBA, Ikeja Branch Secretariat how they were relying on Falana to ensure my persecution by the EFCC. Dele Oloke on several occasions was heard saying “Who is it in the country that Falana cannot call on, who is it in EFCC that he cannot summon. He is the one that will nail Ogunlana with EFCC.”
Just before the June, 26 2018 NBA Ikeja Branch election, spurious allegations were made against me in the Social Media using the Statement of Account of the WEMA Bank, the NBA Ikeja main Bank, which is clearly confidential. Who would have been obliged this statement by the Bank if not your Commission and how did the same get to the Public and to the Press?
Specifically, this same account of the branch with the Wema Bank were used in scurrilous petitions by Falana’s minions to Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN and Prof. Lanre Fagbohun (now SAN), the current Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University to scare them off participating in the NBA, Ikeja Branch Law Week Dinner of June 22, 2018 as Honoree of the day and Chairman of the event respectively. The plot failed miserably as the Dinner held famously with the “Elders”, Dele Oloke and their G6 maliciously staying away. The question remains: who gave out this Bank information, if not via your Commission?
I wish to further point out that it is this same ANTI-PBF groups that frustrated the holding of our AGM on 28th June 2018 (where my administration would have rendered accounts of its stewardship and face the scrutiny of the Branch) by mandating OLOKE and his executives all newly elected to get themselves sworn in at about 8.20pm in the night of the very day of the elections (June 26th 2018) despite my sincere remonstration with them, to the contrary, as the constitution of the NBA provides for swearing in of newly elects at the AGM of the outgoing regime.
The effect of this is that the proper and true AGM of the Branch for 2018 has not held. Now, am I expected as it were, to hold the AGM in the place of your Commission, the special friend and force of Falana and his supporters?
If I nursed any notion that your Commission perhaps was not going to act the tiger paw in my case, despite Falana’s overt declaration of his mischief, paragraph 3 of your letter of invitation put paid to that completely.
In the said paragraph, you commanded me to come along for the interview with you with all relevant documents relating to the operation of accounts of Nigeria Bar Association Ikeja Branch from 2014-2016! This demand is a clear portent of your intention to become a willing tool for use by Falana and his cohorts to harass me and persecute me to settle personal and political score.
You need to juxtapose paragraph 1 of your letter with the paragraph 3 to understand my contention. What is the correlation between the two paragraphs (1&3) when I was never an officer of the branch in 2014-2016 and had nothing to do with any aspects of her financial administration?
To make matter more curious, I received an SMS from your commission in the night of 28th November, 2018 stating thus:
“Gud day sir, u are requested to kindly report for interview with 2i/c Zonal Head of EFCC No 15a Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos on Tuesday 4th December, 2018 at 10.00am. You are to come along with documents relating to the operation of account of NBA Ikeja Branch. Regards”
The message baffles me greatly. Historically, NBA Ikeja Branch official leadership started in 1981, thirty-seven years ago! And, this is 2018. And, I am not the incumbent Chairman. The request desires the performance of an impossibility. Clearly then, there is more to it than meets the eye.
In the circumstances, I cannot consider or expect any fair and impartial treatment from your agency, rather I shall strenuously oppose all schemes and attempts at my destruction by your instrumentality at the hands of Falana and his cohorts’ as so maliciously declared by him in public on 26th June, 2018.
It is my candid advice for your esteemed Commission to carefully and dispassionately cogitate on my letter to the end of retracting from being used for selfish private ends by head hunters, contrary to her set objectives and responsibilities.
Adesina Ogunlana, Esq.
CC: Femi Falana, SAN
Falana & Falana Chambers
25 Fajuji Way G.R.A, Ikeja Lagos.