Lawyers are at war. And the fight is intense- and the stake high.
Here are the details
'A lawyer, Chief Johnson Anumudu has requested that a Senior Advocate of
Nigeria, Mr. Norrison Quakers, be striped of his SAN rank over alleged
malpractice and wanton demolition of his client’s properties.
Anumudu, in a petition dated September 30, 2014, accused Quakers of
conducting himself in a manner infamous and unbecoming of an SAN.
His grouse with Quakers is the takeover and alleged demolition of a
billion naira worth of property at Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island,
Lagos belonging to a former Minister of Works, Senator Muhammed
Anumudu, in his 16-paragraph petition supported with five exhibits,
accused Quakers of shunning the rule of law in obtaining the court order
through which he took possession of the ex-minister’s property.
The petitioner explained that while he filed a suit numbered LD/1341/12
before Justice Oyekan Abdullahi of the Lagos State High Court, Quakers
also filed a suit numbered M/1171/12 before Justice L.A.Y. Oluyemi of
the same court.
According to him, the both suits centred on Daggash’s property located at No. 9B, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island.
Anumudu said that on March 11, 2013, while he was before Justice
Abdullahi to move his motion for interlocutory injunction, Quakers
appeared in court with a letter from the then Lagos State Chief Judge,
Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retd.), ordering that Anumudu’s case be
transferred from Justice Abdullahi to Justice Oluyemi for the purpose of
consolidating it with Quakers’ suit already filed there.
Anumudu said that Quakers, however, following the transfer, never filed
an application for the said consolidation, but rather arranged for the
two suits to be fixed for hearing before Justice Oluyemi on May 20, 2013
without serving him any hearing notice to the effect.
The petition read in part, “That it transpired that Mr. Quakers (SAN)
despite his letter (for transfer of case file) never intended to bring
any application to consolidate the two suits and never did, but instead
conspired with certain registry staff and the court of Hon. Justice
Oluyemi to have the two suits fixed for mention on May 20, 2013 and in
my absence obtained the notorious order of May 20, 2013.
“That Mr. Quakers was aware of the fixture because he was personally
present in court. And in my absence, because I was not served with any
hearing notice, Mr. Quakers moved an originating summons and promptly
got an order of possession from Justice Oluyemi in respect of my
client’s property known as No. 9B, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island,
“And as if that was not illegal and unconscionable enough, the same Mr.
Quakers also moved the court of Hon. Justice Oluyemi to strike out my
own suit numbered LD/1341/12.
“And on June 7, 2013, my client was forcefully ejected from lawful
occupation and possession of the said property in the purported
execution of the order of Justice Oluyemi.
“Mr. Quakers and his team of lawyers, hired thugs and over thirty armed
policemen descended on the property of my client, working day and night,
bulldozed the entire property, carting away properties of my client and
its sub-tenants worth over one billion naira and at the end of the
destruction and blunder, stationed over twenty mobile policemen on the
destroyed premises till date.”
'The petitioner said he had taken Quakers’ matter before Justice
Phillips (retd.) who “seeing the injustice and illegal action of Mr.
Quakers graciously transferred the suits from the court of Hon. Justice
Oluyemi to the court of Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba”.
Anumudu further wrote, “That it is my belief that this action of Mr.
Quakers (SAN) is unbecoming of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and it is an
infamous conduct and I therefore urge your most respected Council to
use your powers to suspend Mr. Quakers from the SAN rank pending the
investigation and determination of this petition.”
Quakers, however, in a telephone conversation with this correspondent,
said he was not aware of Anumudu’s petition, adding that he saw no
reason for the petitioner to have taken him before the NJC as he was
only a former tenant in the said property.
Quakers, who said Anumudu was crying more than the bereaved, stated that Daggash had got his rights over the property in court.
The SAN went on to accuse Anumudu of conducting various illegal
businesses on the property before his ejection, adding that he currently
has a case to answer before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary
Committee over allegations of unethical conduct.
Quakers said, “Well, I am not aware of any petition and the man you are
talking about, Johnson Anumudu, used to be a tenant in that property and
right now as we speak he is no longer in occupation of that property,
so I really don’t know what he is talking about.
“Besides, this Anumudu was only a tenant to Barrister Ben Ijewere, while
Ijewere was a tenant to Daggash. When Ijewere’s tenancy expired, he
relinquished to Daggash. Anumudu is fighting over a property to which he
has no rights.
“Daggash got his rights back over the property through the court. In
fact, Anumudu has a petition against himself to the LPDC on unethical
and unprofessional conduct since last year.
The LPDC could not reach him because he refused to give an address for service.
“Let me tell you, while he was on Daggash’s property, he was running a
brothel, he was selling cars and he created multiple tenancies in
another man’s property. This was discovered when the property was