A recent release signed by the secretary of the legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee and Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hedizatu Mustapha reads thus:
The Legal Practitioners privileges Committee, at it’s 132nd session which was held on the 21st of June, 2018 has suspended JOSEPH NWOBIKE Esq. from the use of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (and all privileges attached to the rank) in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 25 of (2) of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee’s Guidelines”.
The relevant Guideline provides thus: 25 (2) the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee may suspend a legal practitioner from the use of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria pending the determination of any disciplinary action, complaint, or prosecution against such as Legal Practitioner.
The suspended Senior Advocate was in April convicted by the Lagos State High Court presided over by Justice Raliat Adebiyi for attempts to pervert the course of justice.
Nwobike’s loss of the rank Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) following on the heels of withdrawal of the same rank from Beluolisa E. Nwofor on the 22nd June, 2017 barely a year ago stresses the need for lawyers generally to be conscious of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession.
Also, as the election into national offices of the NBA fast approaches, members of the noble professions are expected to rise up to the high calling of the profession by voting in a leadership that will place high premium on ethical standard and discipline. Only a leader with proven strength of character and force of personality can fill the need of the bar at this critical time. The time calls for professionalism and not politics as seen in the state at large. It is submitted that any heavy campaign spending or sharing of money rather than a focus on issues is a very dangerous sign. Our collective desire for a better bar imposes a very serious burden on us all to take out time to study the antecedents and pedigree of the candidates in order to make an informed decision based on principled conviction. Selling your vote or mortgaging your conscience for material gain is not just a disservice but indeed a crime against posterity.