Posted by News Express | 30 November 2013 | 3,628 times
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has thrown a poser to stakeholders in the judiciary on whether the present centralised training of lawyers is really the best for the country or whether it is better to have a centralised professional examination body for the profession.
To quote him: “Given the current realities of limited resources can the Nigerian Law School meet these objectives? Given the growing number of students and the cost of training them, there is no doubt a need for creative thinking and viable solutions that can stand test of time.”
Jonathan threw the poser at the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Law School (NLS), Bwari, Abuja.
Speaking at the event Wednesday, Jonathan, represented by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), asked: “Is it not time to reconsider the present centralised training available at the Nigerian Law School as opposed to having a centralised professional examining body, while decentralised training is conducted at the level of universities and private learning centres who are able and willing to provide this service?”
The Nigerian leader seized the opportunity presented by the occasion to renew his appeal to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) “to call off the current strike action and partner with Government in the task of reforming the education sector.”
He disclosed that “Government is also making concerted efforts to enhance infrastructural facilities in all the campuses of the Nigerian Law School in order to engender a conducive learning environment. To this end all the campuses of the Nigerian Law School have undergone or are undergoing massive facility and infrastructural development. The construction of libraries, hostels and seminar rooms in the different campuses has been completed.”
The audience included Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, President; Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Okey Wali (SAN); General Theophillus Danjuma (GCON); Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, representative of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida as chairman; Anniversary Lecturer, Mr. Oba Nsugbe (QC, SAN); Director General, NLS, Dr. Tahir Mamman; Chairman, Council of Legal Education, OCJ Okocha (SAN); one of the foundation law students in 1963, Senator Onyeabor Chukwunbum Obi, among others.
According to Mamman in his welcome address, overall, with the current set of qualified lawyers called to the Bar on November 27 and 28, the NLS has produced 88,060 lawyers. “Incidentally, about 55 per cent of this numbers was produced in my eight years tenure as the Head of School,” he stated
On funding, Mamman, who bows out as DG on December 10, 2013, lamented that “Federal Government Budgetary Funding has been problematic, characterised by low capital allowance compounded by cash release on average of 40 per cent of the allocation.”
News Express reports that one of the highlights of the occasion was the honouring, by the Council of Legal Education, of Chief Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), and General Danjuma. As disclosed by Mamman, while Mukhtar and Akinjide were honoured “for their exceptional contribution to the development of the legal profession and Nigeria,” Danjuma was honoured “for his contributions to the Nigeria project.”
•Photo shows President Jonathan.
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