Justice Odili approved Alegeh’s appointment, Tela insists

The head of the Secretariat of the Body of Benchers (BoB), Daniel Tela, has declared that the immediate past Chairman of the Body, Justice Mary Peter-Odili (Retd), orally approved the appointment of Mr Augustine Oyarekhua Alegeh (SAN) as the Chairman of the Benchers Appointments Committee of the Body. Following the approval, he said, a letter of acceptance dated March 28, 2024, was written by Alegeh regarding the appointment. Tela’s declaration is contained in the BoB’s counter affidavit to the originating summons dated May 21, 2024, and filed on May 22, 2024, at the Federal High Court, Lagos. Alegeh had through an originating summons sued the current chairman of the BoB, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), and the BoB in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/887/2024 over the attempt to remove him as the chairman of the Benchers Appointment Committee and appoint Prof. Yusuf O. Ali (SAN) in his place. Awomolo, had in his counter affidavit insisted that he was the one legally empowered to make such an appointment, adding that his predecessor denied appointing Alegeh to the position. He swore: “The Applicant has no lawful claim to have been appointed as the Chairman of the Appointment Committee in that the Chairman of the Body then, Justice Mary U. Peter Odili (Retd), with whom I worked closely, as her Vice Chairman, has disowned and dissociated herself from the purported letter of appointment, by her letter dated June 3, 2024, and the purported appointment is invalid, unlawful, null and void. “The appointment of Prof. Yusuf O. Ali (SAN) as the Chairman of the Appointment Committee is the only valid one and remained so.” But Tella, who is the Secretary of the BoB swore that since assuming office, he had conducted the affairs of the Body by its Regulations made pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Act 2014 (as revised). “I have served under four past Chairmen of the Body with the incumbent being the 5th Chairman I am privileged to work with, and always acted in my official capacity and in conformity with the Regulations of the Body. “Upon the assumption of office by the 1st Defendant as Chairman, he orally requested for the list of the various Committees of the Body. “By a letter dated April 16, 2024, I forwarded the list of Standing Committees of the Body to the 1st Defendant (Awomolo). “That I have no personal interest to serve in the circumstances of the facts which gave rise to this suit. I make this solemn deposition in good faith and conscience, believing its contents to be true and in accordance with the Oaths Act,” he averred. In his further affidavit in support of the motion on notice, the claimant, Alegeh insisted that he was validly appointed the Chairman of the 2nd Respondent’s Appointment Committee and it was conveyed to him by a Letter of Appointment. He stated that he accepted the appointment and forwarded his Letter of Acceptance to the 2nd Respondent. He explained that he filed this suit on May 22, 2024, and served the originating processes along with the Order of Interim Injunction and Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction on the Respondents on May 29, 2024. Alegeh stated that the letter dated June 3, 2024, which is a query to the Secretary of the BoB in respect of his appointment was procured during the pendency of the suit. According to him, the 1st Respondent’s purported appointment of Prof. Ali (SAN) as Chairman of the Appointment Committee is invalid and made in contravention of the BoB’s Regulations. He swore: “All the Standing Committees of the 2nd Respondent are set out in the Body of Benchers Regulations made pursuant to Section 3(5) of the Legal Practitioners Act, 2014 (As amended). “The ‘Executive Committee’ introduced by the 1st Respondent is an invalid and illegal contraption which is not provided under the Body of Benchers Regulations. “The 1st Respondent is currently unilaterally interviewing contractors with a view to awarding illegal contracts on the basis of his false claim that his ‘Executive Committee’ approved his contract proposals at their meeting on May 10, 2024.” He added that those projects are not in the 2024 Budget of the Body of Benchers and cannot be executed within the next five years. “There are no plans, designs or bill of quantities in respect of these projects but the 1st Respondent intends to surreptitiously award these contracts and commit the Body of Benchers by issuing letters of award to his contractors,” he swore. The post Justice Odili approved Alegeh’s appointment, Tela insists appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

More From KYP News

Follow Us Online

Do You Have A Story?

We are always looking for independent journalists and those who have a story. If that's you get in touch with us today!

Submit Story

Have Your Say

Leave your comment