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CJN swears in 17 new senior advocates Dec 12

Posted by By GODWIN TSA Abuja on 2007/12/06 | Views: 966 |

CJN swears in 17 new senior advocates Dec 12


The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi will, on Wednesday, December 12 swear-in 17 lawyers selected for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners Privilege Committee (LPPC).

••• As 9 Federal High Court judges take oath Jan 3

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi will, on Wednesday, December 12 swear-in 17 lawyers selected for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners Privilege Committee (LPPC).

Their swearing-in will bring the number of Senior Advocates in Nigeria to 245 since the most prestigious honour in the legal profession was introduced.
The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Alhaji Usman Musale, who announced this on Wednesday also disclosed that the CJN will on January 3, 2008, swear-in nine Judges of the Federal High Court whose appointment has been approved by President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua.

The new judges are Mrs. Okeke Agatha Anuike (Anambra State and currently, the chief registrar of the Federal High Court), Saleh Musa Shuaibu (Plateau State), Mrs. Zainab Bage Abubakar (Kebbi state), Ekwo Inyang Edem (Akwa-Ibom State), Evoh Stephen Chukwu (Ebonyi State), Rilwanu Mohammed Aikawa (Kano State), Ajoku Patricia Iroawuchi (Imo State), Mohammed Baba Idris (Niger State) and Ishaq Mohammed Sani (Kaduna State).
Alhaji Usman Musale said that 144 lawyers applied for the conferment of the rank out of which 17 were successful.

According to him, out of the 144 that applied, 121 of them were advocates while 23 were academics. Of these, however, 15 advocates and 2 academics were chosen.
The 15 new SANs, who are advocates as announced by the Supreme Court, according to seniority, are Paul Erokoro, John Olusola Baiyeshea, Julius Dele Adesina, Olagoke Oluyemi Fakunle, Francis Chukwuemeka Ofodile, Uchenna Gregory Nwokedi, (the only woman), Okechukwu Emmanuel Wali, Miannaya Aja Essien.

Others are Ocholi James, Solomon Ukaegbu Akuma, Augustine Oyarekhua Alegeh, Okunade Isreal Olorundare, Sunday Ibrahim Ameh, Ahizechukwu Benbella Anachebe and Babatunde Ademola Ajibade.
The academics, who made the list are Professor Musa Yakubu and Professor Charles Udenze Ilegbune.
The chief registrar explained that the process that led to the selection of the 17 lawyers was “more open, more transparent and more rigorous.”

He stated that all the applicants were carried along during the selection process and that some of them were allowed to clarify issues concerning their applications unlike in the past where there were no such privileges.
Musale said that the innovations in this year’s selection process were made possible by the new guidelines adopted by the LPPC.

He disclosed that a committee headed by Chief Afe Babalola to review application for the award of Senior Advocate would soon submit its report before interested lawyers can collect new applications.
Visitation to lawyers’ chambers is one of the new guidelines approved last year’s December under the leadership of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Modibo Belgore for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on deserving members of the profession.

In the past, the committee relied exclusively on the information contained in lawyers’ applications for selecting those who merited the award.
The new guidelines were also the committee’s response to the criticisms of the process for selecting the beneficiaries of the awards.

One of such criticisms was lack of transparency in the process.
Another innovation in the new guidelines is the payment of application fees by applicants.
Applicants are now required to pay N200, 000.00 as application fee.
They are also expected to do three probono (free) cases.

Other requirements are that applicants must provide particular of 10 cases handled at a superior court or before an arbitration, which he considered to be of particular difficulty or sensitivity.
Three of the cases should have been argued at the Supreme Court.
Applicants are also encouraged to submit recent cases handled by them.

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