Supreme Court quashes conviction of three senior lawyers over professional misconduct

Justice Tanko Muhammad, CJN.

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 (LPDC) for various misconducts in the discharge of their profession practices.

However in separate judgments by the Apex Court on Friday, the disciplinary measures matted on them were voided and set aside having been done in breach of the provisions of the laws guiding disciplinary matters.

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

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 the unanimous judgment in the matter, held that the actions of the LPDC panels which led to punishment of the three lawyers were not consistent with the 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 proceedings as required by law.

Eko noted that the composition of the LPDC panels was too unwieldy and therefore counseled 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 LPDC.