Controversy as NBA disowns Lagos ‘lawyer’, critic

Controversy as NBA disowns Lagos ‘lawyer’, critic

Controversy as NBA disowns Lagos ‘lawyer’, critic

The Nigerian Bar Association has disowned a Lagos-based social critic, Adeola Samuel-Ilori, saying it has no record of him as a legal practitioner.

The , in a correspondence from its General Secretary, Jonathan Gunu Taidi, said Samuel-Ilori’s name was not on the enrolment list of lawyers with the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“I further state that the said name is not contained in the database of the Nigerian Bar Association and I am unable to provide any information on him,” Taidi added in the letter dated January 7, 2020.

The Secretary, Ikeja branch of the , Chinedu Ifezue, in a mail to our correspondent on March 11, 2020, said there was no record of Samuel-Ilori.

Ifezue stated that Samuel-Ilori should be queried on his enrolment details with the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The enquiries followed complaints to The PUNCH about the activities of the critic, who was alleged to be operating under the name, Lead Solicitors, a chamber in the Ikeja area of the state.

The critic, it was alleged, collected money from people, who had issues with power companies, promising to take matters up for them.

A source told our correspondent that the activist ran a programme on Rainbow FM, a radio station in Lagos, where he asked members of the public to call him for their problems.

A source said, “He has a law firm called Lead Solicitors. He also goes about under the name of a consumer advocate group, the All Electricity Consumers Forum. He encourages people to register with him and he issues them with ID cards to show that they are his members.

“He also takes up their cases as a lawyer. He is on a forum where you have governors, ministers, former ministers and electricity distribution companies, claiming to be representing the public.”

The source wondered how Samuel-Ilori deceived some media houses, who regularly sought his views as a lawyer and an activist.

He noted that the owners of the radio station, where the suspect hosted the talk show every Tuesday, called him a lawyer.

“And most of the things he says are not correct, but a lot of people are carried away. He institutes cases on behalf of people, who approach his law firm. While sometimes he does it himself, he uses people in his chambers at other times,” he added.

PUNCH Metro obtained documents where Samuel-Ilori allegedly claimed to be a lawyer, affixing the title, Esquire, to his name.

Our correspondent also observed that Samuel-Ilori had on December 17, 2018 filed a civil suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos State.

However, in that particular matter, it was observed that another lawyer in his chamber, identified as Charles Afolabi, used his seal.

Samuel-Ilori also deposed to a 16-paragraph affidavit suing the Eko Electricity Distribution Company, the Ikeja Electric and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu.

When our correspondent contacted Afolabi and asked if he was aware that Samuel-Ilori could be fake, he laughed it off.

“To the best of my knowledge, he is a lawyer and he was in the profession before me. In fact, he came from a family of lawyers,” Afolabi stated.

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