The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), has denied the list of candidates for the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (CJN) currently published by an online newspaper, loyalnigerialawyer.com.

The committee in a statement by the Director, Information, Supreme Court, Dr Festus Akande, described the publication as false, fake and calculated to cause confusion in the public space.

He urged members of the public to discountenance the report, adding that any information, regarding the award of the rank of SAN could only emanate from the office of the LPPC Secretary/Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story by an online medium that goes by the name, “loyalnigerianlawyer.com” with the above caption, which is currently in circulation with a purported list of “successful candidates” that emerged after the second filtration exercise by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC).

“We wish to state clearly that the above information is fake, unofficial and untrue. It’s a mere figment of the imagination of the authors, who may ostensibly be on a mission to impugn and malign the reputation and integrity of the LPPC with a view to causing confusion and skepticism in the public space.

“The information should be discountenanced by whosoever might have come across it. For the umpteenth time, we wish to let the public know that any information, especially, issues regarding the above topic can only emanate from the office of the LPPC Secretary/Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Anything outside this official source should be disregarded,” the statement read.

He noted that as has been the practice, all information concerning the LPPC, especially,those bordering on the announcement of successful applicants for the award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, were published in reputable national dailies and this year’s own would not be an exception.

Akande, however, stated that the perpetrators of such illegal act would be apprehended and given appropriate sanctions to serve as deterrence to others that might be waiting in the queue to do same in the future.

“The LPPC Secretariat wishes to appeal to bloggers of various lawyers’ platforms to henceforth refrain from posting or publishing or aiding in the circulation of unauthorised materials or fake documents said to originate from Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee. The Committee may be forced to refer the conduct of such bloggers, who are legal practitioners to the appropriate disciplinary committee of Body of Benchers. A word is enough for the wise.

“On this note, we wish to inform and assure our esteemed legal community and the general public that the authentic official list of the successful applicants that emerged from the second filtration exercise by the LPPC will be made public through advertorials in the national dailies in due course”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court, Abuja, has insisted that it had a judge on ground to sign the release of Sunday Igboho’s associates granted bail recently by the court.

Chief Registrar of the court, Emmanuel Gakko, in a statement clarified that it was not that trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, who admitted the 12 defendants to bail early in August,had disappeared as reported by some media publications.

The 12 defendants were arrested in the July 1, early morning raid on the residence of the leader of the Yoruba Nation agitators in Ibadan, Oyo State, Sunday Igboho, and were detained at the facility of the Department of State Service (DSS).

However, following the granting of an application for the enforcement of their fundamental human rights, Justice Egwuatu admitted eight of the defendants to bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties in like sum, while the remaining four were admitted to bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties in like sum.

But lawyer to the defendants, Pelumi Olajengbesi, claimed that after the perfection of their bail last week, they had gone to the court to endorse the bail but were told the judge had traveled out of the country.

Gakko, while reacting to the development, stated that contrary to the claim by the newspapers, Justice Egwuatu, did not disappear but went on a national assignment outside the country.

He, however, stated that although the court was an vacation, there were judges on ground, adding that Justice Ahmed Mohammed, the other vacation judge with Egwuatu, was available. He said the lawyer to the defendants would have met with the registrar of the court, who would have told him what to do.

He stressed that there was no reason a judge after granting bail to a defendant would now disappear and not be available to endorse it and therefore charged journalists to always approach the court and cross check their facts before publication.

THISDAY LIVE