Rotimi Amaechi, 4,411 others make new lawyers lists

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By Kenneth Atavti

A total of 4, 412 new lawyers were on Tuesday admitted into the Nigerian Bar.

Among the new wigs included a former Governor of Rivers State and immediate past Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi.

While swearing-in the new lawyers, the Chairman of the Body of Benchers who is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Peter-Odili, urged them to avoid all forms of corruption as well as conducts that could tarnish the image of the judiciary.

Justice Peter-Odili tasked the newly admitted lawyers to always be transparent and accountable to both their clients and the country, stressing that the Body of Benchers would continue to play its role of upholding the ethics and ethos of the legal profession.

“The Body will continue to play this very important role as the body with the highest distinction within the legal profession.

“There are so many opportunities available within the profession, therefore make wise use of every opportunity you have.

“Always remember all you were taught and put the same into practice. The profession you now belong to is the most noble of all; a profession where everybody is somebody.

“You must therefore be seen as living above board. The expectations on you are much; you must not disappoint all those who look up to you.

It is your freewill or so I presume, to belong to this noble profession, therefore you must always abide by the Rules and Regulations guiding the profession.

“You have been called to the Bar in a very important historic period in the legal profession in Nigeria; a period when the good, the bad and the ugly are all operating at the same time.

“The good to the extent that the Supreme Court now has the full compliments of Justices required to man the court.

“The good to the extent that the welfare of Judicial Officers is being taken seriously and the Body of Benchers alongside other relevant bodies is championing the process.

“I have read in the papers about the increased funding of the Judiciary which is a positive development. I hope it Will be backed by adequate release of funds as and when due.

“It is a bad period in the sense that the judiciary is being bashed and public confidence in the legal system is dwindling, occasioned by incessant conflicting judgements in our courts and flagrant indiscipline amongst lawyers,” Justice Peter-Odili added.

She said the Body of Benchers had in a bid to address “this vexed issue of conflicting judgments,” constituted a committee made up of ranking members of the profession.

Justice Peter-Odili said the committee would come up with the best possible ways of addressing the concerns.

“When the Committee completes its assignment and presents its report to the Body of Benchers; it will, upon consideration and approval, be forwarded to the relevant bodies for implementation,” she stated.

In his address at the occasion, the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma, disclosed that the new lawyers were successful candidates at the November 2023 Bar Final Examinations the school conducted under the supervision of the Council of Legal Education.

He further disclosed that whereas a total of 5,300 students participated at the examinations, 4, 412 of them were successful while 251 candidates bagged first class in the final Bar Exams.

Prof. Chiroma said the Law School would continue to remain the gatekeeper of the profession.

“We will continue to uphold the standard and integrity of the Bar,” he added.