With the laudable decision by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, to Charge Ms Adekunbi Ogunde, a partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun SAN, Chairman of the Body of Benchers, before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee LPDC, for professional misconduct arising from an email she sent to SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Ltd on behalf of the firm, promising the company that their principal will use his position as Body of Benchers Chairman to influence Judges to give the company a favorable outcome in its case with Rivers State Government, the LPDC Should also recommend the immediate review notable cases won by the firm.
The Partner had in the email confessed that the firm had successfully influenced Judges in other cases and listed the beneficiary companies as MTN Nigeria, Equinor and Shell Petroleum.
With the confession of Ms Ogunde, the LPDC should immediately recommend an independent review of all notable cases recently handled by the firm of Wole Olanipekun SAN and Co, Particularly the ones referenced by Ms Ogunde to determine whether Justice was procured by influence of the Chairman of the BoB, using the influence of his office as confessed by his Partner.
The Law is trite on the authority of R v Sussex Justices ex parte McCarthy ([1924) 1 KB 256,  All ER Rep 233) that Justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done in all cases and if this is not the case, then it is not justice.
The confessions of Ms Ogunde means only one thing, to wit, the Law Firm of the Body of Benchers Chairman depend solely on his undue influence on Judges and Judicial officers using his office to deliver the desired result for whichever party they appear for in a court case. A lawyer, while reading Ms Ogunde’s infamous email to Saipem, lamented that it simply means that while others lawyers are searching through the pages of laws and law books to find solutions to their clients problems, The law firm of Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN and Co are searching through the judicial contacts of the BoB Chairman to find a judicial officers to influence. This cannot to be justice and decisions reached through undue judicial influence should be reviewed.
Furthermore, Nigerian Justice system heavily depend on the doctrine of Stare Decisis in it’s dispensation of justice. This Doctrine makes all Judicial pronouncements and Decisions binding on lower courts and when the decision is by the supreme court, it is binding on all Nigerian Courts and litigants can rely on it to persuade courts to deliver judgements in his/her favor. What if these Judicial Decisions were procured by undue influence on Judges by the BoB Chairman?. The implications are grave.
This professional misconduct by the Law firm of the BoB Chairman has painted the Nigerian Legal justice system before the global community as a system where judgement is only obtained by undue Judicial influence. The LPDC should change this perception by recommending independent review of all the notable cases recently handled by the firm and particularly the ones Ms Ogunde confessed the firm got result using the influence of the Office of the Body of Benchers Chairman.
Barrister Echika Ejido is an Abuja based Lawyer, and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association. He can be reached on email@example.com