- The legal national of the PDP has been accused of destroying southwest structure
- The party, through Oke Ayorinde of Justice Advocate in the southwest PDP made the allegation in a statement issued on Sunday, April 5
- Ayorinde said that the legal adviser is acting as if he is above the constitution of the party
The southwest chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the national legal adviser of the party of pulling down its structure in the zone.
This was contained in a statement issued by Oke Ayorinde of Justice Advocate in the southwest PDP and seen by Legit.ng
The statement was entitled why is the PDP national legal adviser doing everything possible to pull down PDP in the southwest? RE: Suit NO. FHC/L/CS/63/2021 Hon. Dayo Ogungbnero & 11 ORS V. Prince Uche Secondus & 2 ORS. matters arising.
Ayorinde said that by virtue of S. 31 (1) (o) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party, the office of the national legal adviser was created.
He, however, added that S. 42 (1) of the same constitution stated the functions of the national legal adviser to include, advising the party in all legal matters; conducts all litigation on behalf of the party and finally to interpret the laws, regulations and constitution of the party in event of any ambiguities/controversy arising therefrom.
The statement read:
"By the above provisions, the PDP constitution places on the national legal adviser a fiduciary duty, that must be performed with good faith at all time and in all circumstances in the discharge of the duties of his office.
"The position of the national legal adviser is apposite or synonymous with relationship/position of client/lawyer relationship. This is so, as the position can only be occupied by a legal practitioner who has qualified to practice law in Nigeria by enabling law and regulation. The national legal adviser is therefore bound to uphold the principles and stipulations of his profession in the discharge of his duties in office."
He stressed that the courts have over the years emphasised that there is a fiduciary relationship between a counsel and his client which should ensure that a client's rights are fully advanced and protected.
It was added that there is a duty on counsel to present his client's case with utmost devotion, sincerity and honesty.
He said the national legal adviser, being the torchbearer of the party in legal matters must at all the time be seen to be a person of unbiased mind neither must he put himself in a precarious position against the interest of the party nor a position that may engender conflict of interest.
Ayorinde added that the Court of Appeal while reiterating what conduct may amount to conflict of interest said the rules of professional conduct in the legal profession provides inter alia against exertion of adverse influences and conflict of interests.
The court further stated that within the ambit of the rules, a lawyer represents conflicting interests when in respect of the client for whom he presently contends, the interest of that client touches or concerns confidences of another client to whom the lawyer at the same time owes a duty of service and or fidelity.
He stressed that the national legal adviser created a conflict of interest of inordinate proportions, adding that he cannot maintain the expected standard because there is no way he can maintain the expected standard of defending the party.
The statement said that any conduct of a legal practitioner "with the colouration of corruption or breach of fidelity to a private trust is inconsistent with the Rules of professional conduct."
"More so by S. 58 (1) (d), (h), (j) and (l) of the Constitution of Peoples Democratic Party, any person who engages in dishonest practices, in conduct likely to cause disaffection among the members of the party, or promote factions or result to court action without first availing himself of remedies provided by the party has committed the offense, and maybe sanctioned.
"Is the national legal adviser an exception to these provisions? We shudder to say NO. It is therefore worrisome that the national legal adviser, No. 1 law officer of PDP, could get himself enmeshed in such a situation we have provided above. We leave you to be the judge and say that posterity will not forget in a haste this act of disservice to our collective integrity and stewardship."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Lagos state chapter of the PDP announced the immediate suspension of the chairman, Adedeji Doherty.
It was reported that Doherty was suspended over alleged anti-party activities and misappropriation of funds.
The party's stakeholders announced the suspension on Friday, December 18, after its Exco’s emergency meeting.