The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) has withdrawn the nomination of Ms Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashorun for the conferment of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) award and similarly barred the lawyer from applying for the rank for three years.
The decision of the LPPC was contained in a statement released by the Committee on Thursday and signed by Hadizatu Mustapha, Esq, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court who doubles as the LPPC’s secretary.
The LPPC had earlier in September 2017 deferred the conferment of the prestigious rank on Ms Bashorun following a well publicised petition against her by a former landlord. The petition was submitted to the LPPC shortly after Ms Bashorun was shortlisted for the award.
At the time of the deferment, Ms Bashorun was the only female nominee on a list of 30 persons shortlisted for the conferment of the coveted rank in 2017.
A portion of the statement from the LPPC at the time noted that Ms Bashorun’s inauguration would be deferred pending the conclusion of investigation into issues surrounding her eligibility for the rank.
“Recall that the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee announced the nomination for appointment of 30 successful applicants for the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
“This was after a thorough investigation of petitions against some of the applicants which is governed by paragraph 12(2) of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee Guidelines, 2016,” a portion of the statement read.
The statement also quoted Section 12(2) of the LPPC Guidelines 2016, as stating, “Any complaint/petition presented to the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria/Chairman of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee must be in writing and filed within eighteen (18) days after publication of the list of candidates shortlisted for the conferment of the award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in identified national dailies, media or any other form the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee may prescribe from time to time…”
Ms Bashorun was subsequently investigated by a panel set up by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, who doubles as the Chairman of the LPPC.
In the LPPC statement issued on Thursday, it stated that the sub-committee set up to investigate Ms Bashorun found that she continued to stay in an apartment for 9 (nine) years without paying rent, a behaviour that contravened the guidelines for the conferment of the SAN rank.