HomeCourt room newsCourt Bars Awomolo From Removing Alegeh As Benchers’ Committee Chair

Court Bars Awomolo From Removing Alegeh As Benchers’ Committee Chair

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has barred the Body of Benchers and its Chairman, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN from removing former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN as the Chairman of the Benchers Appointment Committee.

In its ruling the court held “That an Order of Interim Injunction is granted restraining the Defendants from removing the Plaintiff/Applicant and/or interfering with his duties as Chairman of the Body of benchers appointment committee during his tenure from 28th March, 2024 to 27th March, 2027, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction.”

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa granted the order following an ex-parte application brought by Alegeh.

An earlier report by City Lawyer, revealed how Alegeh disagreed sharply with the recent reconstitution of the Body of Benchers committees by Awomolo. The Body of Benchers Chairman had during the reconstitution exercise appointed respected Bar Leader, Mr. Yusuf Ali SAN in Alegeh’s stead.

But in a fiery protest letter dated 2nd May, 2024 Alegeh warned on the dangers of side-stepping the Rule of Law, saying “that I accepted to serve the full term of three [3] years and I have not resigned my appointment as the Chairman of the Body of Benchers Appointment Committee. I believe there must be an error which I respectfully request should be corrected immediately.”

In the clearest indication that he was ready to do battle over the matter, he vowed that “I therefore would continue to act as Chairman of the Committee in the terms stated in my Letter of Appointment.”

It was gathered that the committee met last Wednesday and notwithstanding some altercations, Alegeh held court and spearheaded proceedings during the meeting.

Though Alegeh had also urged the court to bar Awomolo “from further acting as Chairman off (sic) the Body of Benchers pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction,” the court deferred consideration of the prayer till hearing of the motion.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa adjourned the matter to July 8, 2024 for hearing of the Motion on Notice.

The Motion Ex-parte was dated May 21, 2024 while the ruling is dated 27th May, 2024. Named as defendants in the suit are Awomolo and Body of Benchers.

In a letter dated 28th March, 2024 and titled “APPOINTMENT TO SERVE AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BODY OF BENCHERS APPOINTMENT COMMITTEE,” Alegeh was named as the Chairman of the all-important committee.

Signed by Mr. Daniel Tela, the Secretary of the Body of Benchers, the letter stated that the appointment “shall be for a period of three (3) years.” The former NBA helmsman accepted the appointment the same day and vowed to “discharge the functions of the office with great responsibility and commitment to the ideals of the Body of Bencher.”

However, less than six weeks in the saddle, the Life Bencher was yanked off the seat through the reconstitution exercise by Awomolo. The exercise was communicated to benchers through an email by Tela.

According to Tela the Body of Benchers was aware of Alegeh’s May 2, 2024 letter and would tackle all the issues raised. His words: “We are in receipt of the letter and the attention of the Chairman has been drawn to it. The issues raised will be addressed by the Chairman.”

Culled: City Lawyer

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