By Robert Egbe
The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) has tasked the 38 newly elevated Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to live up to the ideals of the Silk rank.
It urged the new Silks to maintain the highest standards of professional ethics, conducts, etiquette and discipline, and maintain the dignity of the rank.
The body gave the challenge during the annual BOSAN dinner which held recently in Lagos.
Besides welcoming the new SANs, the event also featured the presentation of BOSAN scholarship to five outstanding law undergraduates in the country.
A former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Dr Christopher Kolade, who was the keynote speaker, said Nigeria needed to build a philosophy that boosts corporate morale rather than one that destroys self-confidence.
Kolade was quoted recalling that in 2002 “at the height of the noise identifying Nigeria mainly with advance fee fraud,” the Nigerian High Commission in the UK chose to promote a change in the narrative by seeking out and celebrating Nigerians who were performing impressively.
He said efforts must be made to make Nigeria a haven for the rule of law.
Attendees at the dinner included the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN); Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN); Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN); Court of Appeal Justices Garba Lawal and Justice Abdul Aboki; Justice Adenike Coker of the Lagos High Court; Lagos State Solicitor-General, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey and the first female SAN, Chief ‘Folake Solanke, among others.
Solanke, who chaired the occasion, urged BOSAN to “pursue nationalism as a higher calling, for the cause of the well-being of humanity.”
Chairman of Continuing Legal Education for the BOSAN, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, highlighted the aims and core values of BOSAN as: “Promoting professional responsibility amongst members and maintaining and defending the professional integrity of the members of the Body; Promoting the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, the highest professional standards of legal practice, legal education and the advancement of advocacy and jurisprudence.”
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Ajogwu highlighted the importance of maintaining the highest standards of professional ethics, conducts, etiquette and discipline; and ensuring and maintaining the dignity of the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
The formal presentation of the 38 newly elevated SANs was conducted by Ajogwu, assisted by Mr. Lanre Onadekan, SAN.
Ajogwu noted that of the 120,000 lawyers in Nigeria, only 548 (approximately 0.46 percent) have been elevated to the position of SAN.
He implored all present to be aware that “the burden of leadership lies heavy on the Senior Advocates of Nigeria,” adding that to whom much is given, much more is truly expected.
Chairman of the BOSAN’s Scholarship Committee Mr. Dele Adesina, SAN, presented the Scholarship Awards, a scholarship recognising exceptional academic excellence through cumulative grade tests, to the BOSAN Scholars for the year 2019.
The BOSAN Academics are Buloka Fatima Alada of the University of Ibadan, Comfort Nguher of the University of Jos, Chioma E. Echebiri of Babcock University, Unyime Anieti Akpan of Afe Babalola University, and Olajumoke Janet Sorungbe of the University of Lagos.
BOSAN Secretary, Chief Seyi Sowemimo, SAN, and Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, SAN, commended the efforts of the members and committee heads of BOSAN.