Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee on Friday deferred indefinitely the swearing-in of one of the 30 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Madam Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashorun.
The 29 others are to be sworn in on Monday, while Bashorun, who is the only female among the SAN-designates announced in July, is to wait for the outcome of an investigation against her.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the LPPC, Mrs. Hadiza Mustapha, who is also the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, revealed that Bashorun’s inauguration would be deferred pending the conclusion of investigation into issues surrounding her eligibility for the rank.
According to the statement, Bashorun will be 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.
The statement read, “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.”
The statement 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…”
It added that more facts about her eligibility emerged after she had been announced among the 30 successful candidates in July.
It stated, “However, after the announcement, more facts have emerged touching on the 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, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, Chairman of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee.”