Prominent lawyer, Mr. Kunle Ogunba (SAN) has cried out to Nigerians, accusing Seplat Petroleum Development Company of embarking on blackmail and intimidation over his discharge of professional duties to Access Bank Plc.
The erudite lawyer who is the legal counsel to Access Bank Plc. made the allegation in a reaction to reports that he had been dragged to the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) and the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for alleged gross misconduct and unethical practices by Seplat.
Ogunba said; “It is obvious that the petition, if any is an attempt to blackmail me and avoid the payment of huge indebtedness of Seplat to Access Bank Plc and nothing more.”
“Seplat is better advised to take steps to liquidate its debt rather than attempt to intimidate me, a lawyer merely doing my duties as such. Once again, I reiterate the fact that the petition has not been formally brought to my attention for a formal reaction.”
“It is stock in trade of these huge debtors to peddle petitions all around in a bid to avoid the payment of their debts. I was not there when they borrowed the funds and they have obviously targeted my person for the nuisance value rather than take steps to liquidate the debt.”
“This particular debt was part of the huge debt overhang that sunk the defunct Diamond Bank and they don’t mind if Access Bank goes under for their sake too.”
However, in the petition to the LPPC, also copied the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the company accused Ogunba of violating Rules 1, 15, 24, 30 and 32 of the Rules of Professional Conduct 2007 and called for sanctions against the lawyer in line with paragraph 55 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Seplat accused Ogunba of instructing the invasion of No. 16A Temple Road, Ikoyi Lagos, housing its corporate offices, a and rentedthe LPPC to “immediately commence disciplinary action against the senior lawyer over steps and actions it said it considered “unbecoming of a legal practitioner of his standing and constitute a danger of bringing disrepute to the legal profession”
Seplat alleged that having locked up its corporate office in a commando style, “the agents of Adekunle Ogunba served certain court processes on Seplat containing an Originating Summons, a Motion on Notice and interim ex parte Order in suit No FHC/L/CS/1588/2020”.
The oil firm also accused Ogunba of obtaining the said ex parte orders with “patently false” claims, adding that he deliberately misled the court and failed to adduce any documents to support the claims.