…As LPDC Disbars 7 Lawyers, Suspends 12
A total of 1,562 successful candidates in the April 2018 Bar final examination of the Nigerian Law School were on Tuesday called to Bar, with a warning that they eschew any act of professional misconduct, should be ready to face the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Alhaji Bashir M. Dalhatu, while advising the new lawyers to shun vices capable of denting their image and that of the legal profession, also told them to be honest, respect the Rule of Law and to always demonstrate highest level of professional ethics and decorum in discharging their duties.
The Chairman of the Body of Benchers told the ‘new wigs’ to always adhere, and be guided by the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) to avoid practices that would go foul to the rules.
“Where complaint is made against your conduct in your capacity as a legal practitioner, the alleged offence would be put side by side the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct to see if there is a prima-facie case against you”, he said and added that, once that is established, such a lawyer will face the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) for appropriate sanctions.
Already, Alhaji Dalhatu said the LPDC, which is the disciplinary body of the NBA has, between January to July this year, disbarred seven lawyers, suspended twelve and admonished one.
He advised the new lawyers to be of good behaviour and abide by the ethics and traditions of the legal profession to avoid being brought before the committee.
Also, Amasa Firdaus, the law graduate who sparked controversy for challenging the restriction on use of hijab during call-to-bar ceremonies, has been called to bar.
Firdaus was called on Tuesday, seven months after the controversy.
Firdaus was in December denied entry into the hall for the ceremony which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, for refusing to remove her hijab.
She had described the action as “a violation of her rights”, adding the hijab does not violate the dress code set by the law school.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma said the School, in collaboration with Law Faculties and stakeholders in the legal profession, has embarked on aggressive review of its curriculum to include teaching of ethics, legal writing, teaching methodology and methods of assessment to address the complaints of low quality of lawyers.
The Law School, the Director-General said, is a training arm of the Council of Legal Education, with headquarters in Abuja and Campuses in Lagos, Enugu, Kano, Yenagoa as well as Yola and that over 6, 000 students are trained from all the locations annually.
He said, in about 55 years of the existence of the School, it has had an uninterrupted session as there has never been an incident of the closure of the institution on account of student unrest, strike action by staff or for any other reason.
Prof Chiroma then advised the new lawyers to ensure strict adherence to the norms and ethics of the legal profession.