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Ogunde, partner in Olanipekun’s firm, quits legal practice

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
05 August 2022   |   2:45 am
A partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun & Co., Ms Adekunbi Ogunde, accused of violating the rule of professional ethics by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has taken a leave of absence.

Chief Olanipekun

A partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun & Co., Ms Adekunbi Ogunde, accused of violating the rule of professional ethics by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has taken a leave of absence.

Ogunde had, on June 20, solicited a brief from Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd, which had already engaged the law firm of Henry Ajumogobia (SAN).

This led to the NBA’s call for disciplinary action against her by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).

In a statement, entitled: ‘My email correspondence of June 20, 2022, and subsequent events,’ which she signed on Wednesday, Ogunde regretted the distress her action had caused all concerned parties.

She said contrary to some people’s beliefs, the firm had taken disciplinary action against her.

She also expressed regret that her statement of June 27, where she owned up and clarified that the firm’s founding partner, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and others didn’t know about her action, failed to douse tensions.

Ogunde said: “Since I issued that public statement, like everyone else, I have read online, a complaint filed against me at the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee by the First Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, and the subsequent letter written to my firm’s founding partner, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, OFR, that he should recuse himself from his position as Chairman of the Body of Benchers.”

She added that though it might appear remedial action had not been taken by her or the firm, by way of discipline, education, reform and rehabilitation, “I wish to state that the firm took such steps but did not believe its actions should be for the media’s attention.”

She said: “Unfortunately, the matter has become rather complicated and has affected me psychologically, but also Wole Olanipekun & Co. and my family. It has bred bad blood and, to my great pain, thoroughly embarrassed the firm’s founding partner, the innocent and dignified Chief Wole Olanipekun, and everyone else at the firm.”

She said that after extensive consultation with her family and the firm, and thoroughly examining the issue, she is quitting law practice for a while.

Ogunde said: “I will take a leave of absence from legal practice and get involved in the community and social work pro bono, with a few selected NGOs. I will also, during this time, undergo necessary courses to equip myself better in dealing with professional and life issues.”

“I will return to legal practice after some time, in consultation with my parents, senior colleagues and well-wishers. This statement is issued to enable me to move to the next stage of my life. I will no longer be issuing any public statement.”