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Court dismisses N5m suit by ‘diploma lawyer’ against Judiciary

By Abdulwahab Abdulah
A suit instituted by a Law Diploma holder, Mr Moroof Ayinde Lateef challenging the refusal of the State High Court to allow him practice law with his certificates, has been dismissed.

Justice Habeeb Abiru, ruling on the motion on notice filed by Lateef, held that the suit was an abuse of court process, and of no effect whatsoever.

Justice Abiru held that he decided to throw out the matter because the same case had been considered and determined separately by a Magistrate’s Court and a High Court, which dismissed the suit on the ground that the applicant was not qualified to practice law anywhere in the country.

The matter which was argued by a lawyer from the legal department of the state judiciary, Mr. Dele Adesina, was dismissed because Lateef failed to prove that he was qualified to practice law under the provisions of the Legal Practitioner Act of 1962.

In his ruling, Justice Abiru held: “This suit is an attempt by the applicant to re-litigate the issue and this cannot be allowed by this court. This suit is an obvious case of abuse of court process.

“The position of most of the authorities from the Supreme Court is that where an action is found to constitute an abuse of court process, the proper order for the court is one of dismissal.

“This action is thus liable to be dismissed. In the final analysis, this suit is inappropriate and is not properly before the court. It is hereby dismissed with costs at N10,000 in favour of each of the second and third respondents.”

The applicant had joined the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission, Justices Grace Onyeabo and Hakeem Oshodi, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee and the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Olasupo Shasore, SAN, in his suit.

He prayed the court to declare that he is a Commercial Law Practitioner by virtue of his Ordinary Diploma in Business and Industrial Law, and Advanced Diploma in Commercial Law, and having registered a business name – Moroof Lateef & Associates – with the Corporate Affairs Commission,CAC.


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