72 lawyers make it as SAN during 2020/2021 legal year
By Chukwuemerie Anyene
Supreme court, has on Monday, 14th December, 2020, sworn in 72lawyers as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).
Represented by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour at the 2020/2021 legal year and swearing-in of SANs, CJN Muhammad cautioned lawyers against unprofessional conduct during court proceedings.
While appealing to lawyers, especially the young ones to always observe all court rules and not mislead their clients for pecuniary gains, CJN Mohammad reminded them that those who failed to stick to the code of conduct, will face severe sanction.
Part of his statement reads:
“Apart from the mode of dressing which I have occasionally complained about, the conduct of some of them within and outside the courtrooms call for serious concern.
”Some have turned the court premises to press interview centres where they cast all manner of aspersions on judicial officers, especially when judgments do not favour them.
“Henceforth, severe sanctions will be meted out on them, therefore, they should always show the ability and capacity to counsel clients well.”
CJN called for obedience to lawful court orders, which he says, has no alternative in any society.
“We must respect and observe all the tenets of an enduring democracy. Nigeria is not a lawless society and no one, irrespective of his or her status, should turn it to one.
”Most times, some persons, who by sheer stroke of providence find themselves in positions of authority, flagrantly disobey lawful court orders, and even boast about it.
“Such acts will henceforth not be condoned. In fact, they will be met with severe consequences and we must therefore extinguish such raging fire before it consumes us all”.
According to him, ‘the Correctional Centres are not there for decoration, such literally incorrigible and obstinate elements in our midst must be tutored in those centres to deter the several others eagerly waiting in the wings to embark on such inglorious expedition.
” The court will not only bark but will bite harder and deeper too,” he warned.
The CJN also added that the apex court in the 2019/2020 legal year had a total of 908 cases, comprising of motions and appeals.
“Out of the number, we heard 497 civil, 168 criminal and 35 political matters, thus amounting to a total of 700 motions.
“The court also considered a total number of 208 appeals, being 134 civil, 52 criminal and 22 political appeals and also, a total of 189 judgments were given within the legal year under review.”
CJN Mohammad also confirmed the apex court disposed of 52 corruption and financial crime cases; court of appeal, 121 cases; Federal High Court, 19; FCT High Court, 10 cases and all state High Courts, 188 cases.
In attendance were Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, represented by the Solicitor General, Dayo Akpata and Prof. B. O Nwabueze, SAN, represented the body of SANs. They all called for collective efforts in an improved and respectable judicial system.
Others were President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata and Obafemi Adewale who spoke on behalf of the new SANs.
Recall that the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC), had on Friday, named 72 successful applicants for the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, to be sworn in on December 14 (today), 2020.
Making the list was the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences Commission, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye; two former General Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association, Isiaka Olagunju and Afam Osigwe; a lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Tijjani Gazali, former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Babatunde Ogala; former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo and others.