Former chairman of Unity Bar, the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh, was this year elected national Chairman of NBA enrolled in 1986 and has never contested any NBA election until July 2014 when he ran for the office of the President and won in a controversial manner.
In 2011, he joined NEC-NBA and was Chair of 2 Committees.
Alegeh later admitted that he compromised the delegates system.
Alegeh was the Chief Executive Officer of Tratrix Engineering Limited a road construction company he registered in 2005 principally to fleece Delta State treasury.
Alegeh was recently engaged in a running battle with fellow lawyers and was openly called a bushman by a learned colleague because NBA rules of conduct says you cannot have a law firm and a road construction company but Alegeh is running both simultaneously, even as NBA President!
Other issues Nigeria lawyers have with the NBA president bothers on transparency, elombah.com has learnt.
Elombah.com have been reliably informed that weeks ago, the NBA President signed an MOU on Nigeria Lawyer’s behalf with Transcorp Hilton Abuja. He has yet to disclose to members of the NBA the terms of the MOU. He has not sent a single email to divulge useful information.
Readers must know the word for absence of transparency in regimes when the President is hiding information from his colleagues. He shouldn’t wait to receive a freedom of information request to be able to share the several MOUs he had signed on lawyers’ behalf because NBA is the watch dog and should be putting government on its toes in demanding public accountability.
In a couple of hours the year runs out lawyers would usually pay their practicing fees on the first working day after the New Year. But they have vowed to resist attempts by Alegeh to collect 150% increase in practicing fees.
Alegeh has also been accused of dereliction of duty and running NBA in a lazy manner. “3:14AM Friday 26th Dec., 2014 a day after Christmas was when Alegeh sent a signed Christmas e-message for lawyers in Nigeria. Unlike the NBA Lagos Branch signed one in the afternoon of Thursday 25th Dec., 2014.”
The NBA earlier in the week signed MOU with Leadway Assurance Limited – Alegeh’s colleagues complain that they do not have a copy Insurance policy “yet we are being blindfolded to pay the premium, a whole lawyers association, pay to enrich others?”
“Why is it so difficult for Mr AO Alegeh to pay a courtesy visit to the Institute of Estate Surveyor and Valuers and to work out a partnership with NBA such that would keep in line the golden rule only those called to the Nigerian Bar should frank estate documents and lease agreements. Those legal practices that put money into the pockets of lawyers so that they may be able to pay a part of it to NBA increased practising fees by 150%, some to Leadway Insurance Ltd etc.” They ask.
In a suit pending in a High Court in Abuja, against NBA. The NBA went to a 5-star resort and used its facilities in 2010 and 2011 and incurred millions of naira in debt and didn’t pay after repeated demands.
The plaintiffs, Starwood group instructed a colleague to file a lawsuit. They came under un-defended list in 2013 during Okey Wali’s rigime. Alegeh made a campaign promise that NBA should not allow a lawsuit like that, because it’s disgraceful.
The colleague wrote to Mr Alegeh and attached a CTC of the processes filed to treat it.
On or about the 8th Sept., 2014, Alegeh caused the NBA GS to write to me expressing clear intention to resolve the matter out of court.
After that line of communication, Alegeh bypassed the lawyers to the plaintiff and went to the client and started communicating with him over the same subject matter and even set up a reconciliation meeting with some of Alegeh’s agents.
Elombah.com was told that no lawyer who is civilized communicates officially with learned counsel in a matter and with the litigant he or she represents, officially, and simultaneously.
Alegeh in a written acceptance sppech nullified the result of NBA-SLP election. In disrespecting a democratic process, what moral right has he to hold on to the office of NBA President?
At page 4 of his acceptance speech Alegeh admitted that he compromised the delegates system.
“Only a bushman will admit that and not resign.”
“Alegeh has no IBA or ABA background, he has no LL.M. He does not conduct himself and the exalted office of NBA President like an intelligent lawyer”, elombah.com was told.
“I have never seen him in any court make any submission. He is not known to have espoused any law since 1986 when he was enrolled till present. He has not attended an IBA conference. IBA Tokyo 2014 would have been his first, he missed it. Alegeh has no world view; his world begins and ends in his immediate environment. Because of his police barracks background, he is afraid of poverty, will do anything to make it.”