Court Awards Cost of N10m Against Lawyer for Wrongly Advising Client


The Lagos High Court sitting at Yaba has ordered a lawyer, Mr. K. O. Bakare, to pay a N10million fine for encouraging his client to file a suit that had already been decided at another Lagos High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Justice E. O. Ashade dismissed the suit and ordered Bakare to pay the N10m “personally” to the Defendants/Applicants.

The 1st to 3rd Defendants/Applicants are Princess Fausat Dania, Barrister Jabar Ameen, (For themselves and on behalf of the Onbiya Ruling House of Are Ejimosu royal family) and His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdul Fatai O. Aromire (Ojora Of Ijora And Iganmu kingdom).

The court held that the lawyer adopted the failed strategy of advising his client to challenge the nomination of Prince Wasiu Akanbi Lawal Akapo as the Aro Elect of the Aro Ejimosu Family of Ojora Royal Family, despite the same matter being on appeal before the Supreme Court.

The judge, in dismissing the suit filed by Mr. Wasiu Ademola Sanni, noted that Bakare was involved in the case both at the high and appellate courts, so, he could not claim inadvertence or ignorance.

Mr. Sanni approached the court in suit LD/81866CMW/2021 challenging the selection and nomination of Prince Wasiu Lawal Akapo from the Onbiya Ruling House of Aro Ejimosu Family of Ojora Royal Family to fill the vacant seat of Chief Aro of Ijora.

He also sought to restrain the Ojora of Ijora and Iganmu from accepting and installing Prince Akapo as the Aro of Ijora.

But the defendants/applicants opposed him through their team of counsel led by Timi Seriki, SAN.

They prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the ground, among others, that the suit is caught by the doctrine of res judicata.

Justice Ashade upheld the defendants’ application, according to a Certified True Copy of the judgment obtained by The Nation.

He held that the action of the claimant was not only frivolous but also brought in mischief and bad faith.

He noted that the claims being sought by the claimant had already been decided by Suit No. LD/3820/99 – Gafari Yusuf Fadiya & Ors v. Kolawole Oloyede & Ors by Justice Bola Okikiola-Ighile of the High Court of Lagos and unanimously affirmed by the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos in Suit No. CA/L/419/2016, to the effect, that the Onbiya Ruling House of Aro Ejimosu should produce the candidate to occupy the vacant seat of Chief Aro of Ijora.

Justice Ashade berated Mr. Bakare, for encouraging his client to file the suit.

The dispute about who should occupy the stool of Aro of Ojoraland has been in litigation for more than 20 years with the Onbiya Ruling Family of Aro Ejimosu successfully proving its case at both the High Court and Appeal Court as the family to produce the candidate for the Ojora Royal Family of Lagos hierarchy.

Justice Ashade held: “Under the evidence before this Honourable Court in respect of this instant action, I am unable to find any cogent reason(s) why the application of the Defendants/Applicants should be refused as I find the arguments of or Counsel to the Defendant/Applicants to be meritorious.

“I am, therefore, inclined to agree with the submissions of the learned Senior Counsel to the Defendants/Applicants, it is in the best interest of justice to grant this application because all conditions to raise res judicata co-exist in this suit and I see improper use of a court process that is vexatious or frivolous and meant irritate or annoy the Defendants in a most embarrassing manner in the suit before this court.”

The judge added that “More worrisome in this present suit is that Mr. K. O. Bakare was/is the learned Counsel to the 2nd Defendant/Appellant the Suit No. LD/3820/99 – Gafari Yusuf Fadiya & Ors v. Kolawole Oloyede & 1or, Appeal No. CA/L/419/2016 and Appeal No. SC/CV/576/2020, respectively.

“Learned Counsel to the Claimant is, therefore, mostly to be blamed for the filing of this instant suit. It is a failed strategy or tactic of the learned Counsel…

“If the strategy adopted by the Counsel works, he takes full credit. And if the strategy fails, he must also take full blame for responsibility with equanimity.

“Learned Counsel must at all times adhere to what is well within the law and should desist from ill-advising a party by giving him a false hope as clearly seen in this suit,

“In the result, this Court is of the considered view that the application dated 2/6/2020 but filed on 8/6/2022 succeeds, accordingly, it is hereby granted as prayed. This suit is hereby dismissed.

“From the records of this Court as assessed in the instant suit, a punitive cost must be awarded against the Claimant but payable by the learned counsel to the Claimant personally in the circumstance of this suit.

“Consequently, I award the Cost of N10million against the Claimant/Respondent in favour of the Defendants/Applicant and to be paid personally by Mr. K. O. Bakare, learned Counsel to the Claimant/Respondent.”

The Nation

Share on


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here