The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court has been told to strike off the name of Temidayo Eseyin, a lawyer, from the Legal Practitioners Register.
The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee gave the directive in Abuja on Wednesday.
Joseph Daudu (SAN), the Chairman of the committee, said Eseyin illegally appropriated N40 million to himself from N155.3 million judgment sum belonging to the petitioner.
Omotayo Oluleye had on January 18, 2010 wrote a petition through the Nigerian Bar Association over the development.
Daudu said Eseyin’s action violated the provisions on professional conduct specified by the LPDC Act.
He said the NBA had proved the allegations brought against the respondent beyond reasonable doubts.
He said: “It was proven that Eseyin fraudulently misled a court to obtain a judgment that delivered the N155.3 million.
“In fact, as that issue was pending at the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, he went on to appropriate N40 million to himself as his legal fees.
“There is no document before us to show that agreement was entered to pay such an amount.
“It is a fact that you Eseyin, obtained the money even when you have not performed the legal services expected of you.
“It is also ordered that the respondent pay back the N40 million to the petitioner within 30 days.
“Your conduct in this transaction has brought the good image of the profession to disrepute and therefore find you guilty of the offence.
“The Registrar of the Supreme Court is hereby ordered to immediately derobe the Eseyin from the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria.
“All legal officers and heads of courts, the Office of the Inspector General of Police and other relevant bodies shall be informed of the decision.”
The committee, however, absolved Lanre Kareem of the allegation of misconduct and fraud in the handling of N13.3 million land deal.
Daudu said Kareem’s action did not go contrary to LPDC Act in any way.
He said the plots of land sold for N13.3 million were personal property of the respondent.
According to the chairman, the inability of the petitioner to take possession of the property was not pre-meditated but hinged on circumstance beyond the respondent’s control.
He said: “The respondent refunded the money to the petitioner when he sensed an undercurrent from family members who were not in support of the transaction.
“This was collaborated when the petitioner, while giving evidence, said that the N13.3 million was returned after the petition was filed.”
On the allegation that Kareem engages in other transactions other than legal practice, Daudu held that no evidence existed before the committee showing that the respondent action was infamous.
Hw said: “The respondent has not in any way used his Chambers or legal position to sell land but instead used a different business outfit
to market his own property.
“Having perused the arguments of parties on this case, the committee finds the respondent not guilty of the offence.
“The petition is dismissed for lack of merit.”
Other lawyers with pending complaints to answer are: Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru (SAN), Joseph Henyaa and Yomi Okunnu.
The rest are Benson Irabor, Yinka Sunmola, Joseph Ojo, Yangien Oruguga, F.J. Atie, Ishienyi Chidi and Biodun Aina.