Most young lawyers, I meet only here in Abuja, chant that NBA needs a non SAN as its 2018-20 president. I guess, this is because, most young lawyers here in Abuja are not into litigation but CAC, sell of land and housing agency. Compare the litigation/advocacy skills of an average Abuja based lawyer to that of his counterparts in Owerri, Kano, Ilorin and other “rural” NBA branches; like 7up, the differences will bubble up.
I have no problem with this but they too, should know that NBA does not need career politicians. We were not called to Bar to be career politicians but to be a Lawyer, strive to excel to the pinnacle of our career. Those chanting this, should first make sure they have practice, so that they chant will be seen as honest and not a decoy to hide their failures to prepare for taking the Silk. Any honest hard working litigation/practicing lawyer, who does not want to be an SAN, is like a lecturer in a university that does not desire to be a Professor.
NBA needs a good leader and if the leader is SAN, is it a crime? Well ban on campaign has not been lifted but people are flying around Nigeria and building structures. I pray these structures are not built on falsehood as such will not stand the flood of truth when the Tsunami arrives.
SAN, is akin to Chieftaincy title and the Oba/Emir/Obi-in-Council, chooses whom to give, based on the set down rules. Even the court jester is also a chief but this does not mean that all chiefs are jesters. There are those who are conferred with chieftaincy titles because of what there extraordinary contribution to the development of their community. My Mother had chieftaincy titles due to dint of hard work and I know too that there are SANs that were honoured because they have been found exceptional and not because of political or quota.
Young lawyer, don’t let any one breath into you a stunted dream. If you work hard, your industry will announce you and you can wear the Silk at age 10. Be wise and ask yourself, is it my dream or am I running another person’s dream? Must those who despise the institution of SAN make you an enemy of what you should aspire? The only honest principled lawyer opposing the rank, is Pa Gomez. Others are opportunistic agitators, using their seeming opposition to draw attention and once the Silk is offered to them after much humiliation, they speedily grab it shamelessly like a dog going back to its vomit.
The rank of SAN is not given frivolously as some people are deceiving young lawyers. Among the conditions are: Candidates must also be competent with sound knowledge of the law, demonstrate clear qualities of leadership and loyalty to the legal profession.
Candidates must have paid consistently as at when due his practicing fees and membership dues to the local branch in the last 10years preceding his application.
An applicant shall provide particulars of contested cases as follows:
- judgments of the High Court
- 6 judgments of the Court of Appeal
- 3 judgments of the Supreme Court
Where he conducted the cases from the High Court to Supreme Court he will be required to submit 3 judgments of the Supreme Court to qualify but where he appeared only at the Supreme Court he will be required to provide 6 judgments of the Supreme Court to qualify.
- In providing particulars of contested cases, applicants shall provide particulars of recent cases decided within 10years preceding the date of application and which demonstrate that the applicant is:
- Currently engaged in full time legal practice; and
- Abreast with current developments in the field of law.
- He must have been involved in the provision of at least 3 pro bono legal services to indigent clients or some form of community service.
- He must present evidence of income tax payment paid as and when due for a period of 3 years preceding the application.
Are the above conditions for mediocre and unserious lawyers? Leave careerism in NBA Politics and build your practice; NBA is not a mainstream political party but a professional association, whose main aim, is to take care of welfare of its members and some SAN employing over 10 layers, with more than 100 lawyers passing through their chambers, have shown commitment to the welfare of members of NBA beyond mere sloganeering and promises of el-Dorado.
For those chanting that 2018 NBA President must not be SAN, let me remind you, the Law is a noble profession based on ancient rites and rituals of respect for seniors; hence no junior calls his matter ahead of his seniors.
The only kingdom where their leader or king is not of the royal class, is a rebel camp and once the rebel takes over seat of state he was rebelling against, he becomes a king and jettisons rebellion and will not allow rebellion against his “constituted authority.” Let wisdom prevail.