By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, LLPC, on Friday, suspended the swearing-in of Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashorun as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
Bashorun was the only female among 30 senior lawyers that were shortlisted for the prestigious rank.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen had slated Monday to perform the swearing-in ceremony.
However, LPPC, in a statement yesterday, said it deferred Mrs. Bashorun confirmation to await the conclusion of investigation into issues surrounding her eligibility for the rank.
According to the statement which was signed by the Secretary to the LPPC and Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mrs. Hadiza Mustapha, Bashorun will be investigated by a panel set up by the CJN who doubles as the Chairman of the LPPC.
Recall that the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee announced the nomination for appointment of 30 successful applicants for the SAN rank in July.
The legal body said it made the nomination “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.”
It said section 12 (2) provided that “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 days after publication of the list of candidates short listed 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”
However, the LPPC noted that it was after it had made the announcement that more facts emerged concerning eligibility of one of the otherwise successful applicants.
“Consequent upon that, the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee in an emergency meeting held today the 15TH day of September, 2017 has decided to defer the Conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashorun,Esq. pending further investigation against her by a special constituted committee set -up by My Lord, the Chief Justice of Nigeria”, the statement read.