By Onyekachi Eze
It is no longer news that the immediate past Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Imo State in the Gov Hope Uzodinma administration, Barr. COC Akaolisa has been served with a five years ban from practicing as a Lawyer.
He was barred from the Law practice by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, for an alleged Professional misconduct.
The ban was said to have been communicated to all relevant Legal Bodies and persons across the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The ban followed the findings and recommendation of a six-man
Disciplinary Committee, headed by Dauda J.B. (SAN).
On Friday, July 9, 2021, the Committee found Chief Akaolisa guilty of the allegations contained in the petition against him and then banned him from practicising law for 5 years, over misconduct .
The Committee which sat at the Court of Appeal Complex, Abuja, said, the Petition against him had merit and then found him guilty, accordingly.
Trumpeta Newspaper gathered that Akaolisa had allegedly used his position as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Imo State, to facilitate the bail of a murder suspect, who had been remanded in Prison Custody and standing trial since 2013, before Justice Onii Egbunighe of Orlu High Court (2).
The Suspect, Mr. Paulinus Nwanochie, is said to have been standing trial over the murder of one Mr. Alphonsus Akuma, all from Orsu LGA.
It was discovered that Barr. Akaolisa was purportedly the Counsel to the Suspect, before his appointment as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the State.
The case this Newspaper gathered has been going on with the Suspect remanded in Prison Custody. The Judge handling the matter travelled to America for Medical treatment and was there, until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and due to that, the Judge could not come back, when Akaolisa was appointed the Attorney-General.
Akaolisa was said to have used his office to introduce the matter at an Owerri High Court, presided over by Justice Ikpema, without the consent of the complainant, Chief John Akuma and without officially withdrawing or transferring the matter from Orlu Court to the one in Owerri.
Akaolisa was said to have written to the Counsel to the Complainant, Barr. Ekweme to hands off the matter, but the Lawyer insisted that formal letter should be written to him, with the actual date of delivering the letter to him. When that was done, the Lawyer decided to hands off the case.
But the Complainant, Chief John Akuma felt that he would not get Justice in the matter with Akaolisa, who had been the Lawyer to the suspect and now Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice not only introduced the case in another Court but would be deciding where and when the matter would be heard.
The Complainant then petitioned to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) against Akaolisa, through Chief Nwofor K.C. (SAN).
A 6-man Disciplinary Committee was set up with Chief Dauda J.B. as Chairman. The Disciplinary Committee handled the petition and at the end of the day, slammed five years ban on Akaolisa.
The Committee also directed that copies of its decision should be copied to NBA Chairman, Imo State, NBA Chapters of the 36 States and Abuja, the Supreme Court, Inspector-General of Police, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Commissioner of Police, Imo State and Chief Judge of Imo State.
Meanwhile, the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma is said to have kept mute over the matter.
Although the matter hinges on Professional misconduct which the governor may not want to delve into, it is believed that as one of his lieutenants, who held a vital position in his Government, he might use his powers to seek for a soft landing for his loyalist.
It would be recalled that the Governor sacked Akaolisa alongside the other commissioners in his cabinet.
The dissolution which affected Akaolisa, no doubt raised eyebrows in the State, especially among the political class who know the affinity the Governor has with Akolisa dating back years ago, and many expected he should have been retained.