Posted by News Express | 2 April 2022 | 590 times
The Body of Benchers (BOB), the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour are currently worried over the state of affairs in the legal profession in the country.
The good thing however is that the legal experts have suggested ways to reform it and curb unethical conduct among practitioners.
Newly appointed Chairman, Body of Benchers, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), NBA President, Tayo Akpata and Rhodes-Vivour stated that there was urgent need for stakeholders to collaborate on ways to reform it.
They spoke in Abuja at a dinner held in honour of Olanipekun and Justice Mary Odili (of the Supreme Court) who were inaugurated on Thursday as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Body of Benchers.
In his acceptance speech, Olanipekun, who is the 50th Chairman of the BOB, said: It behoves us to rejig, redefine and reorientate our profession in order to restore its cherished nobility and glory.
“We must not lose sight of the unpleasant happenings around us, whether from the Bar and Bench. Succinctly surmised, our profession is under aggression and attack, both from within and without. These are not the best of times for the legal profession in Nigeria.
“Therefore, it is the bounden duty of the congregation of these great men and women of distinction, constituting the Body of Benchers, to work for the greatness and renaissance of our esteemed profession. In doing so as well, we may have to crack some glass ceilings,” he said.
Olanipekun, an ex-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the immediate past Vice Chairman of the BOB, hailed his predecessors in office, who he noted, laid solid foundation, and assured that he would build on the foundation he inherited.
“I will try to improve on what my predecessors in the office have done. I have a focus about the legal profession. We have to do something about it. And, what we have to do about the legal profession is very urgent. And I have my ideas, which I will present at the next meeting of the body
“I will not at this stage this is what I want to do. I will present my agenda to the body at the first meeting that I will chair. This is in July and at time, I will roll out my programme,” he said.
Olanipekun, who spoke glowingly about his predecessors in office and their noble achievements, touched on the many responsibilities of the BOB, which he promised to sustain.
Akpata called for enhanced independence for the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), an organ of the BOB, responsible dealing with petitions and complaints against lawyers.
The NBA President advocated for the decentralisation of the LPDC to allow for its presence in all states of the country as against the current arrangement where it only sits in Abuja.
Justice Rhodes-Vivour, who is the immediate past Chairman of the BOB, noted that efforts at sanitising the profession must include an improvement of what young lawyers are paid. (Sun)
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