Supreme court sets aside conviction of three lawyers over misconduct

The Supreme Court has set aside the conviction of three senior lawyers barred from practicing in Nigeria over alleged professional misconduct.

The three lawyers were sanctioned by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPPDC) for various misconduct in the discharge of their profession.

However in separate judgments by the apex court on Friday, the disciplinary measures metted on them were voided and set aside having been done in breach of provisions of laws guiding disciplinary issues.

The three lawyers are Mamman Waziri, Olayori Muideen and Dr Osaretin George Izegbuwa who were found wanting in the professional conduct and sanctioned.

But the Supreme Court, which looked into their appeal for review of their sanctions, found that they were denied fair hearing as required by law.

Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered unanimous judgments in the matters, held that the actions of the LPPDC panels which led to punishment of the three lawyers were not consistent with provisions of the law.

Eko faulted the conviction of the lawyers on various grounds partly which bothered on the composition of the panels.

Some of the panel members, who signed the verdict against the lawyers, were found not to have participated in the whole proceeding as required by law.

Eko noted that the composition of the LPPDC panels were too wieldy and counselled that a panel should not have more than three or four members to ensure proper attendance.

Having set aside the conviction, Justice Eko ordered that the three lawyers be made to face different panels to be constituted by the LPPDC.

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