Barristers & Solicitors
Justice Odili approved Alegeh’s appointment, Tela insist

The head of the Secretariat of the Body of Benchers (BoB), Daniel Tela, has declared that the immediate past Chairman of the Body, Justice Mary Peter-Odili (Retd), orally approved the appointment of Mr Augustine Oyarekhua Alegeh (SAN) as the Chairman of the Benchers Appointments Committee of the Body.

Following the approval, he said, a letter of acceptance dated March 28, 2024, was written by Alegeh regarding the appointment.

Tela’s declaration is contained in the BoB’s counter affidavit to the originating summons dated May 21, 2024, and filed on May 22, 2024, at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Alegeh had through an originating summons sued the current chairman of the BoB, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), and the BoB in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/887/2024 over the attempt to remove him as the chairman of the Benchers Appointment Committee and appoint Prof. Yusuf O. Ali (SAN) in his place.

Awomolo, had in his counter affidavit insisted that he was the one legally empowered to make such an appointment, adding that his predecessor denied appointing Alegeh to the position.

He swore: “The Applicant has no lawful claim to have been appointed as the Chairman of the Appointment Committee in that the Chairman of the Body then, Justice Mary U. Peter Odili (Retd), with whom I worked closely, as her Vice Chairman, has disowned and dissociated herself from the purported letter of appointment, by her letter dated June 3, 2024, and the purported appointment is invalid, unlawful, null and void.

“The appointment of Prof. Yusuf O. Ali (SAN) as the Chairman of the Appointment Committee is the only valid one and remained so.”

But Tella, who is the Secretary of the BoB swore that since assuming office, he had conducted the affairs of the Body by its Regulations made pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Act 2014 (as revised).