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Oyo crisis: Lawyer dumps Ladoja

Posted by DELE OGUNYEMI, Ibadan on 2006/02/02 | Views: 521 |

Oyo crisis: Lawyer dumps Ladoja

ONE of the leading counsel to the impeached Oyo State governor Rashidi Ladoja, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), yesterday announced his withdrawal from the anti-impeachment case because his name was allegedly used to disparage judiciary and judicial workers.

•‘You can’t use me for dirty jobs’

ONE of the leading counsel to the impeached Oyo State governor Rashidi Ladoja, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), yesterday announced his withdrawal from the anti-impeachment case because his name was allegedly used to disparage judiciary and judicial workers.

Chief Akintola who disclosed this to newsmen at his Adamasingba, Ibadan office, said he would not align himself to any client to do a dirty job.

Specifically, Akintola accused his client, Ladoja, of ‘deliberately planting" a story in a national newspaper (not Daily Champion) using his (Akintola’s) name without consent to ridicule judiciary and its officers.

He described as untrue, yesterday’s newspaper report which quoted him as saying that he had seen the Acting Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Afolabi Adeniran, and Justice Moshood Abass, a new judge assigned to take over the file of Senator Ladoja’s case from Justice M.O. Bolaji-Yusuff, in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, about 10 p.m. on Monday.

The Senior Advocate who said he was busy in Law Chambers that time until about 11 p.m. he left office for home, accused his client’s linkman, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu of unilaterally inserting his name in the reported news story that he was in Oyo town at 10 p.m on Monday.

Pointing out that "this case has generated a lot of furore that my clients have now got to the extent of disparaging the judiciary, Akintola said he would institute a legal action against Alhaji Shittu for allegedly disparaging him.

The legal luminary who further said he would sue the Lagos-based newspaper that carried the alleged offending news story for damages, stated that he had tried in vain to reach his client (Ladoja) on phone but could not get through.

"I am withdrawing as a counsel in this case as a mark of honour and my belief in professionalism. I am not a lawyer who aligns with a client to do a dirty job. No person, however highly placed, should use a lawyer for selfish ends. Even if you give me one billion naira in this matter, I won’t continue.

They have to retract the publication and publish my rejoinder with the same prominence they’ve accorded the offending news story. They have been planting stories in newspapers, acting on rumours. They want to disparage my character. We are not politicians, we are lawyers. And the ethics of our profession is that we should keep to the bonds of our brief. No person, however highly placed should use a lawyer for selfish ends. I will never be a party to anybody using my name to disparage the Judiciary or judicial, officials the Senior Advocate declared ."

It would be recalled that on Monday, Justice Bolaji-Yusuff who had been handling the anti-impeachment suit filed by Ladoja voluntarily disqualified herself in the case as she returned the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment while the suit was re-assigned to Justice Abass, also of the Ibadan High Court.

Justice Bolaji-Yusuff walked into the court room on Monday and announced that the suit filed by the embattled Ladoja against the acting Chief Judge, Adeniran, would no longer be adjudicated by her.

"We are in the threshold of history and the whole world knows why I have to hands off this case. I know that posterity will judge everybody on this matter.

"The file is no longer with me and there is nothing I could say about it. I can only stand by the truth and nothing but the truth," she stated.

She stated that details of what forced her to return the case file to Adeniran was in her minutes on the file and any counsel who wants to know more about the matter should go to him.

Reacting to the withdrawal, Ladoja’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said: "If a case is to be transferred, it has to be an order of the court and if it is going to be withdrawn by the Chief Judge, it still has to be by an order of the court."

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