Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges

Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges of professional misconduct in London

Unknown to the Nigerian people, the current Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bayo Ojo runs a "secret" legal practice based in the UK with a law firm known as "Solicitors Direct". Investigations by Saharareporters have revealed that some of the "official" trips by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo (who uses his full name -Christopher Adebayo Ojo-in the offshore transactions) to the United Kingdom for which he might have received fat allowances were not official after all. This is because, for some time now the Attorney-general has been secretly defending allegations of professional misconduct levied against him by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal of the Law Society of England and Wales in the matter of Christopher Onyeka Agwu, Christopher Adebayo Ojo and In the Matter of the Solicitors Act of 1974; No. 9337-2005.  

According to the findings of the Tribunal obtained by Saharareporters, which was released on February 28, 2007, and signed by I.R Woolfe, Chairman of the Tribunal, Chief Bayo Ojo was initially charged alongside with one Christopher Agwu for various degrees of professional misconduct including: failure to produce accounting records to investigating officer of the Law society, that the books of the Accounts of the firm of solicitors Direct jointly owned by Chief Bayo Ojo and Christopher Agwu were not properly written up contrary to Rule 32 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998, that both solicitors failed to comply with conditions of their practicing certificates, that they both failed to comply with professional undertakings etc.  

However, during its hearing on December 14th, 2006, Chief Bayo Ojo who attended the Tribunal's sitting in company of his attorneys, Messrs Kendal Freeman denied that he had any involvement in the running of the partnership, Solicitors Direct.

 He further argued that he first met Mr. Agwu in 1998 while they were both attending seminars in London with a view to becoming qualified as solicitors in England and Wales. At that time, he had been involved, on behalf of commercial clients in arbitration in London and was trying to build up his practice in international arbitration. Mr. Aguw was also a Nigerian attorney but already based in London. It was at that time that Mr. Agwu suggested that it would be helpful to both of them to become involved in the partnership.

According to Chief Ojo, even though, he agreed to form the partnership with Mr. Agwu, he rarely visited the firm's office in London during the period he was named as a partner. He told the Tribunal that in dealing with the current disciplinary proceedings, he became aware of the earlier proceeding in which both of them had been sanctioned for unprofessional practice although, according to him, his former partner, Mr. Agwu, had mentioned it to him that the Law Society was taking actions against both of them in connection with some ethical issues. The attorney-General therefore urged the Tribunal to dismiss the allegations against him.

In accepting the attorney-general's defense, the Tribunal dismissed the Charges but substituted them with a new  single charge ‚Äď That Mr. Bayo Ojo permitted his name to be held out as a partner in Solicitors Direct, conduct unbefitting a solicitor. Chief Bayo Ojo pled no contest to the new charge and was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Tribunal.

At the end of its sitting the Tribunal found all the allegations to have been substantiated against Mr. Agwu and found the single new allegation to have been substantiated against Chief Bayo Ojo.

While Mr. Agwu had his name removed from the Roll of Solicitors, the Tribunal Ordered that the Respondent, Christopher Adebayo Ojo of c/o Colin Joseph, Kendall Freeman, One Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1JB, solicitor, do pay a fine of £2,000.00, such penalty to be forfeit to Her Majesty the Queen, and it further Orders that he do pay a contribution of £4,000.00 to the overall costs of and incidental to this application and enquiry fixed in the sum of £17,929.00.

  This new development might pose a very serious challenge to Chief Bayo Ojo's membership of the International Law commission and his position as the Attorney-General of the Federation. Efforts made by Saharareporters to reach the Attorney General to get his views were futile as at the time of going to press.


Check the E-Library  www.saharareporters.com for a copy of Tribunal ruling



1 2
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Mikky jaga posted on 04-05-2007, 06:22:13 AM
Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are!!

Maurice Iwu, Ubah brothers and now Ojo, OBJ will have to try very hard to convince people like me that it is not the case of birds of same plume flocking together!!

Up OBJ and his Senior panelist. Up Nigeria. An indicted man sitting as a judge on another man... Shame
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Anon posted on 04-05-2007, 07:34:58 AM
wow! This Sowore is a smoking gun! See how he just exposed Bayo Ojo anyhow... lets wait and see what the so called AG comes up with as a defence... I hope Sowore is distributing to other media outlets because this must not be swept under any bush! Ewu AG
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Docokwy posted on 04-05-2007, 08:40:17 AM
Thank you sowore, the only ''westerner'' who so far has not shied away from exposing his ''own''. So, Bayo Ojo after all has some small, small skeletons in his cupboard? And to think that he is the AG of Nigeria (anyway sha oh! a country where anything goes). Another feather in Obasanjonomics. He really knows how to ''discover'' his lieutenants.
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
El_pharoah posted on 04-05-2007, 08:41:59 AM
I can't believe it! Even the AG's affairs are muddled in indictments!!
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Ikechiji posted on 04-05-2007, 09:36:52 AM
All,

Take a deep breadth. This is more of a 419 case on Ojo by his former "partner" Agwu. Ojo did not do anything except agree to be a partner in a firm run by a Naija, Naija style - no financial records.

Odego
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
TEchi posted on 04-05-2007, 12:38:41 PM
I'm usually disappointed and pessimistic about our Nigerian dream whenever I read an indictment on international level against any Nigerian official who is supposed to know better and be more discrete about their activities. It is a pity this happened with someone who is supposed to represent us on domestic and international scene as exemplary and impeccable. We need to feel sorry for his lack of good judgment.

On incidence like this the stain is usually on all of us even when it's only one or two bad apples. The saying is usually "here goes these Nigerians again," so the focus and scrutiny is not on just on the individual but most other Nigerians in Diaspora and at home. It has been a hard day for us since our republic.
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Showcase posted on 04-05-2007, 14:50:07 PM
QUOTE:
All,

Take a deep breadth. This is more of a 419 case on Ojo by his former \"partner\" Agwu. Ojo did not do anything except agree to be a partner in a firm run by a Naija, Naija style - no financial records.

Odego


The friend of a thief is likely to be a thief too

QUOTE:
In accepting the attorney-general's defense, the Tribunal dismissed the Charges but substituted them with a new single charge ¬Ė That Mr. Bayo Ojo permitted his name to be held out as a partner in Solicitors Direct, conduct unbefitting a solicitor. Chief Bayo Ojo pled no contest to the new charge and was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Tribunal.


Again, I am not a lawyer, but I just wonder why Ojo pled no contest and was found GUILTY of professional misconduct. I find it hard to believe that a man of his education and exposure would allow his name to be used without being party to the activities of Solicitors Direct.

Whichever way it is, he is not qualified, having been found guilty of professional misconduct, to represent Nigeria at the Law Commission. We have other eminent legal practitioners with clean records.

As a matter of fact, Ribadu who is looking for evidence of misconduct has one right here. It will be interesting to see him investigate this case, if he dares...Nonsense evidence!!!!!!
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Udokaamah posted on 04-05-2007, 16:03:01 PM
This is a very distressing case against the Chief Law Officer of Nigeria. I took the time to read the very extensive transcripts of the English Law Society that looked into this matter. I agree with the Law Society that Chief Ojo was "naive" in allowing his name to be used as a partner in a practice where he had no control. I am unsure his conduct rises to the level of criminality. Chief Ojo was a victim in the fraudulent activities of Mr. Agwu. The Law Society agrees.

For whatever it is worth, Chief Ojo has been publicly cited for a "conduct un-befitting a solicitor" in the U.K. In the absence of a proof of complicity by Ojo with Mr. Agwu, i would agree with the Law Society that he is also a victim. Careless, yes; maybe negligent; but not criminal.

However i am very troubled with the choice of Bayo Ojo's friends. The perception looks very bad.
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Gwobezentashi posted on 04-05-2007, 19:58:50 PM
QUOTE:
For whatever it is worth, Chief Ojo has been publicly cited for a \"conduct un-befitting a solicitor\" in the U.K. In the absence of a proof of complicity by Ojo with Mr. Agwu, i would agree with the Law Society that he is also a victim. Careless, yes; maybe negligent; but not criminal.
-Udokaamah

Is it not amazing how some are willing to give the benefit of the doubt when it suits them? Have we heard fully from Agwu and has he been properly crossed? Do we know if he has a story to tell about Ojo? Do we know the extent of the relationship? Do we know whether Agwu is not taking the rap for both of them in return for an oil block or Abuja land? We do not know more than to say that the Attorney General of the Federation should not be found in the vicinity of unprofessional conduct. It is an integrity call. It is like a drunk judge being found near a brothel. Na lie o, even stup-idity in such a senior public official is criminal!

Bottom line is that this is a shameless man. Some may conject that the British Authorities accorded him the regard of an Attorney General and international jurist without reflecting that when this enterprise was hatched, he was not an AG. He was maybe a hustling lawyer who perhaps seized an opportunity to earn some forex and probably did earn some out of it(who knows?). Still he has gone past indictment now. He was fined! So that one na guilty as charged. I don't know where this Ojo appologist got cited from. The man pleaded guilty (or no contest, duka daya ne) and was fined. When he come appeal now, then he will revert to status quo as if he never met Agwu. No be so? Ewu status quo!

Does this all not remind of another certain Obj boy boy caught with a fistful of dollars aboard a tokunbo jet. He too paid a fine for doing absolutely nothing wrong!!!

Aluta!


Gwobezentashi
Re: Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo pleads no contest to charges
Olusola posted on 04-05-2007, 20:55:33 PM
QUOTE:
Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are!!

Maurice Iwu, Ubah brothers and now Ojo, OBJ will have to try very hard to convince people like me that it is not the case of birds of same plume flocking together!!

Up OBJ and his Senior panelist. Up Nigeria. An indicted man sitting as a judge on another man... Shame




I will wait for the reaction of the AG to this story before jumping into conclusion. Let's even assume that the story is true, should the FG or the president be blamed for appointing him as AG? If the NBA, a supposedly noble organization had found Bayo Ojo worthy to be their president, why then should someone cast a blame on the FG for making him AG?
1 2
Please register before you can make new comment