As reactions continue to trail the purported amendment of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for legal practitioners, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN and R A Lawal -Rabana SAN have in a separate statement confirmed that the 2007 RPC was indeed approved by the General Council of the Bar.
The above confirmation was coming the heels of argument in some quarters that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN)’s purported amendment of the RPC followed the pattern of the 2007 amendment by the then AGF, Chief Bayo Ojo SAN.
Debunking the above assertion Prof Ojukwu SAN, stated that there should be no comparison between what was done in 2007 and the purported amendment by the AGF as the 2007 RPC was duly approved by the General Council of the Bar.
In his words:
“Bar Council approved in 2007. Only problem with the 2007 version is how the AGF signed. 2007 and 2020 not the same facts.”
“It was actually a long history. The NEC NBA had approved the new Rule (Justice Orojo draft) under OCJ Okocha in 2001 but [the Bar] Council did not meet. At the end of 2006 we touched that draft by adding re-licencing, stamp and seal, CLE, and removed a complicated provision on advertising to keep it simple. The following year, Feb  Bayo [Ojo, SAN, the then AGF] called Bar Council on it”,
Confirming the above assertion, Lawal -Rabana SAN stated that he was the General Secretary of NBA in 2007 when the RPC 2007 was drafted and presented to the General Council of the Bar for approval.
“I do not want to join in the chorus of issuing statements for the sake of it . I was the General-Secretary in 2007 when the RPC was drafted and presented to the GCB for approval. There was a full meeting of the council and I did the presentation on behalf of the NBA. I emphasize it was not a unilateral document made by Chief Bayo Ojo SAN the AGF at the material time. Prof Ernest Ojukwu SAN who coordinated the draft can bear witness.
“Since the NBA has issued a statement we all should allow the NBA address the issue.”
Meanwhile the President of the NBA, Mr. Olumide Akpata has urged lawyers to discountenance the news of the purported amendment. Read here