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It's very unfortunate for a senior lawyer to be involved in bribing a judge - Ukweni

It's very unfortunate for a senior lawyer to be involved in bribing a judge - Ukweni

- Following the conviction of a senior advocate of Nigeria, one of the holders of the rank has condemned the latter's involvement in crime

- Mba Ekpezu Ukweni said it was unfortunate for a holder of such rank to be involved in bribing and corruption

- He said if a SAN is found guilty of crime, such a person doesn't deserve such rank any longer

The involvement of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in bribery and corruption has been condemned by Mba Ekpezu Ukweni (SAN), Vanguard reports. notes that Ukweni was reacting to the conviction of Joseph Nwobike, by the Lagos high court in Ikeja for perverting the course of justice.

He said: “It is a sad development and an unfortunate thing. It is a very unfortunate scenario for a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to be involved in bribing a judge.

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“As a SAN, his status has placed him in a position to act as a beacon of light, give direction to others. He is supposed to be a shining example to other members of the profession particularly, the junior ones and then the society generally.

“If the court has found a SAN guilty of bribery and corruption, it is very unfortunate because, I am not anticipating what may happen next, but I don’t think such a person deserves that rank any longer. That is one of the things that is being re-echoed, though there are still appeal processes, which are yet to be exhausted in this case.

“When we were at a conference on administration of criminal justice reforms, the same issue came up at one of the sessions. It was noted that very senior members of the Bar who should act as examples to others are the ones encouraging despicable conduct of corruption in the profession.

“The judiciary being the last hope of people, those of us who are the major players in the temple of justice are supposed to be up right, we should act beyond suspicion. While we sympathized with the situation, at the same time, it doesn’t tell well for the rank of SAN. Without pre-empting what may be next, and unless the conviction is upturn on appeal, there is just no way an ex-convict can carry the rank of SAN, he can’t wear the silk any longer but I am not pre-empting what may happen next, I don’t see the legal practitioner privileges committee leaving him with the rank."

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Meanwhile, previously reported that a senior Nigerian lawyer, Joseph Nwobike, was on Monday, April 30, convicted on several counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was convicted by the Ikeja division of the Lagos high court.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi, however, found the lawyer guilty on offences of offering gratification to a judicial officer and making false declaration to an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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