March 11, 2020

Bayelsa: Babalola, Olanipekun protest Supreme Court’s N60m penalty, criticisms


The Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Afe Babalola, and Chief Wole Olanipekun, have formally protested the fine imposed on them by the Supreme Court over the suit challenging the apex court’s ruling on the Bayelsa governorship matter.

The lawyers, in two protest letters addressed to the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), also ventilated their grievances against the harsh words directed at them by the apex court.

The duo had represented the All Progressives Congresses (APC), and its candidate in the Bayelsa governorship election petition matter.

They had asked the court to set aside its judgement which nullified the victory of David Lyon in the November 16, 2019 election.

The seven-man panel of the Supreme Court on February 26 dismissed the applications by the APC and its candidates, with Justice Amina Augie, in the lead ruling, rebuking both lawyers and awarding N30 million punitive cost against each of them.

While Olanipekun personally authored his letter dated March 10, Babalola’s letter, dated March 11, was written by the Managing Partner of his law firm, Adebayo Adenipekun.

In the letters, the duo insisted that they did no wrong by asking the court to take a second look at its earlier judgement.

While seeking NBA’s intervention, Babalola and Olanipekun argued that they did nothing unlawful and unprofessional to warrant the harsh words used on them and the unprecedented cost awarded against them for “merely carrying out their professional responsibilities as lawyers”.

They warned that the decision of the apex court, as it related to them, was capable of laying the wrong precedence that lawyers could be penalised for merely seeking to explore the justice administration process for the benefit of clients. (NAN)