No fewer than 1,000 fake lawyers have been identified by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) since the implementation of the NBA Stamp policy.
Augustine Alegeh, SAN, President, NBA disclosed this at the special session of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to mark the opening of the 2015/2016 legal year and the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)
The NBA had 15th April, 2015 launched its Stamp and Seal policy to address the malaise caused by the infiltration of quacks into the legal profession.
Alegeh said that the 1000 fake lawyers had devised various means, although unsuccessfully, to scuttle the smooth implementation of the policy.
Under the policy, lawyers are expected to have personalized adhesive stamp/seal with the type of security features found in currencies. The features, which include individual lawyer’s number, can only be seen under ultra-violet light.
Since its inception, the policy has been criticized by various sectors and groups who have expressed serious concerns and reservations on its successful implementation by the Bar.
Some groups have even challenged the validity of the entire exercise while some have questioned the rationality behind it.
Meanwhile the president has said that the present NBA leadership was not re-inventing the Will at it were, but merely enforcing the provisions of the law.
“The provision of the Rules of Professional conduct for Legal Practioners, 2007 on the NBA stamp is unambiguous and sacrosanct. These rules govern the discipline of lawyers at the LPDC,” Alegeh said.
The NBA Stamp policy, according to him, has been able to rejig the system and has increased the revenue stream of lawyers across the country.
On discipline at the Bar, the Alegeh restated NBA’s resolve in tackling all cases of professional misconduct and indiscipline of lawyers brought before it.
To this end, he said that the NBA prosecution team at the LPDC has strengthened and has several senior members of the Bar as part of the team. This, according to Alegeh was in line with NBA’s commitment to ensure that disciplinary matters and petitions are prosecuted speedily and effectively.