Three senior lawyers convicted and barred from practicing in Nigeria over their alleged professional misconduct got temporary reprieve on Friday as the Supreme Court set aside their convictions.
The three lawyers were sanctioned by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) for various allegations of misconduct in the discharge of their professional duties.
However, in separate judgments by the apex court on Friday, the disciplinary measures meted on them were voided and set aside, as the court said it was done in breach of the provisions of the law guiding disciplinary issues for lawyers.
The three legal practitioners are Mamman Waziri, Olayori Muideen and Dr Osaretin George Izegbuwa who were found wanting in the professional conduct and sanctioned.
But the Supreme Court, which looked into their appeal for review of the sanctions, found that they were denied fair hearing as required by law.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the unanimous judgments in the matters via Zoom, held that the actions of the LPPDC panels which led to punishment of the three lawyers were not consistent with provisions of the law.
Justice Eko faulted the conviction of the lawyers on various grounds partly which bordered on the composition of the panels.
Some of the panel members who signed the verdict against the lawyers were found not to have participated in the whole proceedings as required by law.
Justice Eko noted that the composition of the LPDC panels were too wieldy and counselled that a panel should not have more than three or four members to ensure proper attendance.
Having set aside the conviction, Justice Eko ordered that the three lawyers be made to face different panels to be constituted by the LPDC.
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