NBA Ikorodu Chair, Bayo Akinlade Finally Responds To Allegations Of Unethical And Unprofessional Misconduct Against Him.
Posted: 18/Oct/2018

The Chairman of NBA Ikorodu Branch and National Convener of FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THE JUDICIARY FIACIJ finally responds to allegations that he presented a tailor as a lawyer in his law firm for the purpose of collecting over 1 million Naira as legal fees from another lawyer’s client.

The story first broke when one of the legal bloggers published the petition against Mr. Akinlade. Many in the legal community were taken aback as to how the Anti-corruption crusader could do such a thing. Others saw it as a ploy by his opponents during the Ikorodu Bar Elections to discredit him and have him disqualified. Whichever way it was; the Corruption fighter did not respond to the allegations until recently when the National Body of the NBA sent him the Petition and asked for his response. TheNigerianLawyer obtained Mr. Akinlade’s Statement on oath (stated below) and asked him a few questions:

Why do you think this petition is resurfacing now?

When it first came out in July through one of the LAW bloggers they said it was just POLITICS. Now, I believe its because some people see all the work we have achieved as a branch within the last 3 months and they want to distract me.Are the allegations false?

Of course the allegations are false! How can a lawyer say I deceived him and his client by sending a tailor to them and deceived them into paying a tailor legal fees. What would stop me from collecting the fees myself? I am not even aware of the said transaction.

So you still believe it is political?

Yes, it is very political and I am so disappointed by the people who bring politics into the NBA and I ask; when did we start playing politics in NBA? When did we start using political analogies to describe NBA elections and what happens within the NBA? Is a chairman being paid like politicians? Politics has no rules of engagement, there are no standards or ethical foundations, basically almost anything goes in politics, it is a mix of professional and unprofessional people, of educated and uneducated people, comparing APC and PDP politics to what happens in the NBA elections is an insult to our profession. NBA is an association with rules and laws of professional conduct but we turn a blind eye to these rules and throw caution to the wind during election periods. That is what happened here when my own colleagues would go to great lengths to commit all sorts of atrocities and turn around and say it’s just POLITICS

Now that you have responded what are the outcomes you expect?

I expect that the LPDC will properly investigate the allegations against me and if they find that they are untrue, I expect them to take proper steps in dealing with the petitioners. I have also written a petition against the person whose letter the petitioners used to make an allegation against me. It will interest you to note that the 6 people who signed the petition against me were not even privy to the information or the events upon which the petition is based. I can’t even begin to phantom how lawyers will debase themselves soo low as to accuse me of something a third party claimed I did in 2013. My response/defense to the petition has been sent by courier to the National Body of the NBA and I expect to hear from them soon.

 IN THE HIGH / MAGISTRATE COURT OF LAGOS STATE

IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION AGAINST ADEBAYO AKINLADE, ESQ


WITNESS STATEMENT ON OATH OF MR. ADEBAYO AKINLADE, ESQ

I, Adebayo Ademola Akinlade, Male, Christian, Nigerian Citizen of Block L, Flat 11B; Millennium Housing Estate, Oke-Eletu, Ijede LCDA, Ikorodu, Lagos do hereby make oath and state as follows:

I am the current Chairman of the Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association

The depositions contained herein are within my personal knowledge and belief.

I know the 1st to the 4th and the 6th Petitioners against me as members of the Nigerian Bar Association; Ikorodu Branch to wit: 1. Mr. Nurudeen Ogbara, 2. Dotun Adetunji, 3. Mr. Tayo Ladega, 4. Mr. Ezekiel Ogbaide, and Mr. Adekunle Adekoya.

I do not recall who the 5th Petitioner is

Between 2012 and 2014; I was the Secretary of the Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association

Sometime in 2013, I received a letter from one Biola Daramola Esq claiming that one Abolaji Okoya had collected some monies from his client as agreement fees. A Copy of the Letter dated 24th June 2013 is Attached herein and marked exhibit A1
 

Attached to the letter dated 24th June 2013 was a copy of a cheque allegedly made out to one Abolaji Okoya and a Deed of Assignment dated the 29th of April 2013. A copy of the Cheque and the Deed of Assignment is Attached herein and Marked Exhibits A2 and A3 respectively
 

Before June 2013, I had never seen or heard of any Biola Daramola. I would later find out that he claimed he was registered as a member of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association
 

Mr. Abolaji Okoya was first introduced to me by a junior lawyer named Dayo Olofinlade who I had forged a partnership with as far back as 2010.
 

Mr. Abolaji Okoya told me that he was a law graduate who had suspended going to law school because he had a young family he needed to take care of; hence he had become a land agent/speculator pending the time he would gather enough funds to sustain his family and attend Law school
 

I had no direct dealings with Mr. Okoya except when he and Mr. Olofinlade approached me for legal advice on complicated land cases that Mr. Olofinlade was handling
 

That only Mr. Olofinlade shared an office with me as a partner. A copy of the letterheads used during that period is Attached and Marked Exhibit A4 and A5 respectively
 

I never represented Mr. Abolaji Okoya as a lawyer in my firm to anyone; his name did not appear in any of my correspondences or letterheads. The Petitioners and Mr. Biola Daramola should provide proof of this allegations
 

My office address then; was at a big shopping Plaza and for the purpose of an accurate identification of my office; my address was described as “Left Wing; Rotadet Shopping Plaza, Boge/Gbaga B/Stop, Ijede Rd, Ikorodu, Lagos as against the address used by Mr. Abolaji Okoya on the Cheque and on the Deed of Assignment
 

I recall speaking to Mr. Biola Daramola via telephone directing him to refer his letter to the NBA by writing a petition and/or report Mr. Abolaji Okoya to the police as I was unaware of the transaction neither did I represent the said Abolaji Okoya as a lawyer in my office to him or to anyone else.
 

Notwithstanding my strong stance in advising Mr. Biola Daramola to report to the authorities, I asked him what he wanted to achieve by involving me in the allegation and he said he wanted to use it to impress upon the said Mr. Abolaji Okoya to pay him some of the money he collected as agreement fees on the transaction since he (Mr. Daramola) did not benefit from the said transaction.
 

I referred Mr. Daramola to the Deed of Assignment (herein attached) which he himself had prepared where he printed “Barrister” before the name ABOLAJI OKOYA and I asked why he would do that and later claim that the same Abolaji Okoya was not a lawyer, besides; hardly any lawyer would be a witness to a sale of land in Ikorodu (it was certainly not the practice I would encourage) so he should have suspected something at the stage of drafting the witness portion of the Deed of Assignment.
 

I could gather from Mr. Biola Daramola’s response and his letter that he merely wanted to use me, being the Secretary of the NBA Ikorodu Branch to force Mr. Abolaji Okoya to give him some money
 

In a bid to however play my part towards resolving disputes, I took extra steps to contact the said Abolaji Okoya and advised him to meet with Mr. Daramola to resolve whatever issue was between them and leave me out of the mess.
 

I was disgusted by the fact that a lawyer would resort to blackmail and obtain monies from someone he knew wasn’t a lawyer because his client did not pay him his own percentage.
 

Mr. Biola Daramola drafted the Deed of Assignment describing Mr. Abolaji Okoya as a Barrister and when he found out he wasn’t one, obtained information that I knew the said Abolaji Okoya and used the information to fabricate lies in order to get me to intervene in the matter

The entire allegation against me was simply a ploy to get money from an individual; this was made clear as I did not hear again from both parties on the matter as I would later find out in July 2018 that Mr. Biola Daramola had succeeded in getting the money he wanted from Mr. Abolaji Okoya

However; during the 2018 NBA campaigns after one Mr. I.K. Thany who contested for the position as chairman of the Ikorodu Branch was disqualified; there was much bitterness and accusations against me by Mr. Thany and the Petitioners that they conspired to have me disqualified to make room for their own chosen candidate

Mr. Thany posted Mr. Biola Daramola’s letter dated the 24th of June 2013 on the Branch WhatsApp Platform and started spreading lies about my involvement in the transaction so that members will have doubts as to my integrity as an Anti-Corruption Crusader.
 

Mr. Thany and the Petitioners went to great lengths to lie, cheat and attempt to manipulate the election process to the extent that they mobilized thugs to assault me and other colleagues at the Bar Centre. Attached and Marked Exhibit A6 and A7 is a copy of my petition to the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State and my open letter to the President of the NBA respectively

My open letter to the NBA president was conveniently ignored but my petition to the AG of Lagos State received attention and the matter is now being investigated by officers of a special section in Panti. Attached and Marked Exhibit A8 is the response from the AG’s office to my Petition

In my attempt to get to the bottom of how the letter resurfaced 5 years later; I called Mr. Daramola and asked him why he would use his false allegations against me 5 years ago to attempt to discredit me

Mr. Daramola claimed that he did not know how Mr. Thany got the letter and that as far as he was concerned; I had resolved the matter for him many years back. I urge that Mr. Biola Daramola be summoned to give his own account of the events as his letter to me is the basis of this Petition

A careful look at Mr. Biola Daramola’s letterhead will show that one Mr. Ogbaide Ezekiel (the 4th Petitioner in this Petition) is listed as one of the lawyers in Biola Daramola’s Chambers.

It is also curious to note that the said Mr. Ogbaide was exposed by my goodself and others in the branch in 2014 when he converted over Three hundred thousand Naira (N300, 000.00) of the branch’s money for his personal use.

The same Mr. Ogbaide was a contestant for the position of the Vice Chairman in the 2018 NBA Ikorodu election (which is currently a subject of dispute within the branch)

Mr. Ogbaide is a close ally and friend to Mr. Nurudeen Ogbara (1st Petitioner), Mr. Dotun Adetunji (2nd Petitioner), and Mr. Kazeem Adebanjo all of whom are former branch chairmen who vowed that I would never be chairman of NBA Ikorodu branch while they were still alive.
 

The conspiracy deepened when this petition was sent to law bloggers but only BARRISTERNG agreed to publish it. As the National Convener of FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THE JUDICIARY, I was simply the target as the Petitioners and others didn’t want someone like me to hold the office of an NBA Branch Chairman.

The Petitioners did not author nor do they have any direct knowledge of the transaction stated in the letter dated the 24th June 2013, the petition is full of hearsay evidence and facts but they took this document to make false allegations against me with a view to disparage me and ruin my reputation because of NBA Elections.

The Petitioners used this Petition to misrepresent facts with the aim of getting me disqualified as a candidate in the NBA Ikorodu Elections and are now using it to attempt to have me removed as Chairman so that Mr. Ezekiel Ogbaide who was suspiciously returned unopposed as the Vice Chairman can become Chairman of the Branch.

The Petitioners also misrepresented the fact that I did not pay my Bar Practicing Fee for 2015. A Copy of my Bar Practicing Fee payment teller No. 00004914 dated 3rd March 2015 evidencing payment made to Access Bank is Attached and Marked Exhibit A9. Please feel free to check your records to confirm my payment.

I respectfully rely on all documents attached herein and urge that this matter be given serious consideration. I also respectfully request that all parties named in my defense should submit evidence of the allegations they made against me and if it is discovered that this petition is unfounded and calculated to discredit me; that the LPDC should apply the full weight of the rules in dealing with the petitioners, Mr. Thany and Mr. Biola Daramola.

I believe the facts stated in this witness statement to be true and I depose to them in accordance with the Oaths Law of Lagos State.………..……….
D E P O N E N T

Sworn to at the High Court of Lagos State

Registry, ……….., this ……….. Day of October, 2018

BEFORE ME

COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS

By Unini Chioma
Thenigerialawyer News