A lawyer, Roland Uwakwe, has written an open letter to the president of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) Olumide Akpata urging him to infuse the following topics into the discussions at the upcoming Annual General Conference of NBA: stricter sanctions for lawyers who aid corruption and lawyers in politics who abuse the justice system.
In his letter seen by The Loyal Nigerian Lawyer’s reporter on Facebook, Mr. Uwakwe also talked about curbing mediocrity in the bench and reconsidering the admission of National Open University graduates into law school.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NBA PRESIDENT
8th September, 2021.
Mr. Olumide Akpata, NBA President, NBA House, CBD, Abuja.
Sir, SETTING AGENDA FOR THE 61ST ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE NBA.
I am not a senior member of the Bar, neither am I a member of the NEC of NBA to set an agenda for the Noble profession.
However, I write as a passionate and committed Bar man. Since my call, I have continued to pay my practicing fee as at when due. Again, I have never absented from any Annual Conference of the NBA – my registration number for this year’s conference is Abuja-0044.
Mr President, your election as the NBA President is the best thing that happened to the Association in the last known memory. Most of us, who supported your candidacy are very glad with your performance and if possible we are willing to amend the rules to accommodate your second term.
The legal profession is at all times very low and you have a golden opportunity to change the narrative. Most lawyers are no longer ministers in the temple of Justice but ministers in the temple of corruption. This is largely because of the lack of appropriate sanctions for senior lawyers who disregard the rules of professional conduct. In this year’s conference, we need to discuss and implement the ways of empowering the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee and different NBA branches. We need men of integrity in such important bodies of the Association.
Again, we need to have a discussion on how to amend the rules of professional conduct to insert a section that particularly target lawyers in politics. Legal practitioners in different political parties have done more damage to the profession than politicians.
The Bench is recruited from the Bar, therefore we need a discussion on how to see that politicians will stop recruiting their wives, sons, daughters, supporters and the weak among us into the Bench to further send the profession into Oblivion.
Mr President sir, I think there should be a discussion on how the study of law should be exclusive for holders of a first degree. The decision that National Open University graduates of law should be admitted into the Nigerian Law School should seriously be analysed.
Finally Mr President, we need to have a very serious discussion on the earning strength of legal practitioners in Nigeria, particularly as it relates to real property transactions. There should be a minimum threshold for each charging item, so much so that if a lawyer go below the threshold, his or her practicing licence will be suspended for a period of time.
Thank you Mr President.
Roland Uwakwe, Esq.