A Nigerian lawyer, Beluolisa Nwofor, who represented the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the legal battle for the party’s ticket ahead of last year’s governorship election in Ondo State, has been stripped off his Senior Advocate of Nigeria rank by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee.
According to a report by Punch newspaper, the Sheriff faction had recorded a temporary victory by obtaining a judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which recognised the faction’s preferred aspirant, Jimoh Ibrahim, as the PDP’s governorship candidate for the said governorship poll.
The victory was truncated few days to the election when the Court of Appeal in Abuja in its judgment delivered on November 23, 2016, retrieved the ticket from Ibrahim and returned it to Eyitayo Jegede, who was the candidate of the rival Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party.
The LPPC, in a statement dated Thursday but released late on Friday, described the conduct of Nwofor during the hearing of the case as “unbecoming of the holder of the esteemed rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.”
The statement signed by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and Secretary of the LPPC, Ahmed Saleh, stated that the decision to strip Nwofor of his SAN rank was based on a petition filed against the lawyer by the Court of Appeal.
The decision, according to the statement, took immediate effect. The statement read, “The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee at its 126th General Meeting held on 22nd of June, 2017 considered extensively the complaint filed by the Court of Appeal of Nigeria against B.E.I Nwofor Esq., a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, with his response to same and all material facts and have decided that B.E.I Nwofor Esq., a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, conducted himself in a manner unbecoming of the holder of the esteemed rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“By reason of the foregoing, the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (including its privileges) has been withdrawn from B.E.I Nwofor Esq., forthwith.”
Nwofor is also the lawyer who defended Chidi Lloyd, a former Rivers state house of assembly member, who assaulted a fellow lawmaker with the mace on the floor of the chamber in July 2013.