Another association of lawyers emerges in Nigeria

Another association of lawyers emerges in Nigeria

The subtle moves to create another body of lawyers outside the traditionally known Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has finally materialised.

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The subtle moves to create another body of lawyers outside the traditionally known Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has finally materialised.

The factional body known as the Law Society of Nigeria (LSN) has finally been birthed and has a prominent lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kunle Ogunba as its President.

The new association disclosed the birth of LSN in a letter dated October 24, 2022, with reference No: LDN/BOB/C/2022/Vol. 1/001, which was addressed to the Chairman of the Body of Benchers (BOB), Wole Olanipekun and signed by Kunle Ogunba (SAN), and Abdulqadir Alhaji Sani, Esq. President and Secretary respectively.

In the letter titled, ‘Law Society Of Nigeria: Notice Of Existence And National Executive Committee”, the new professional body said LSN was founded and registered as a national body of lawyers admitted to practice law in Nigeria.

The letter reads: “The pro tem National Executive Committee of the Law Society of Nigeria presents its compliments to the Chairman and distinguished members of the Body of Benchers as we write to formally notify our revered Body of Benchers of the existence of the Law Society of Nigeria, and its pro tem National Officers.

“The Law Society of Nigeria (LSN) was founded and registered as a national organization of Lawyers admitted to practice law in Nigeria. The LSN, with membership spread all over Nigeria, exists to empower the legal profession with quality member services (high standards of learning, competence, and professional conduct); facilitate access to justice; maintain and advance the cause of justice; and promote the rule of law, through advocacy and good governance.

“Please find attached a copy of the Certificate of Registration of the LSN by the Corporate Affairs Commission.”

It listed protem National Officers as Kunle Ogunba, SAN – President; Hon. Nimi Walson-Jack – Vice President; Abdulqadir Alhaji Sani – Secretary; Olasupo Ojo – Welfare Secretary; Chioma Ferguson – Treasurer; Douglas Ogbankwa – Publicity Secretary; Zara Umar Yakub – Financial Secretary; Alice Ogaku Awonugba – Assistant Secretary and Hassan Sherif – Assistant Publicity Secretary.

The association further states, “As a Society of lawyers in Nigeria, called to the Nigerian Bar under the auspices of the Body of Benchers, the Law Society and its members are subject to the authority of the Body of Benchers and other regulatory organs as established by the Legal Practitioners Act. We commit ourselves to working with the Body of Benchers to ensure quality legal service delivery.

We would like to use this medium to express our appreciation and congratulate the Body of Benchers on the industry of the BOB and the remarkable progress you have made to strengthen the regulation of the Bar and the activities of our members. Of particular mention is the recent commissioning of the BOB Hall, which is a milestone in the history of both the BOB and the legal profession.

“In the same vein, the LSN heartily congratulates the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Oluwole Olanipekun, SAN, CFR as well as several other distinguished members of the Body of Benchers that were recently deservedly conferred with National Honours by his Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

“May we also extend the warm felicitations of the LSN to this foremost august body whose advanced efforts at a harmonized Bill proposing reforms to the Legal Practitioners’ Act must be taken into cognizance and firmly applauded. It is on the verge of these uncommon and necessary reforms in our legal annals and the ageless egalitarian posture on the freedom to lawfully associate, that the LSN also writes your distinguished body introducing herself.

“We count on the Body of Benchers, as the sole statutory body responsible for the admission of persons to the legal profession in Nigeria, to provide a level playing field for all Lawyers in Nigeria, irrespective of the national organization we decide to operate in the exercise of our constitutional right to freely associate and assemble.

“We use this opportunity to convey to Mr. Chairman and the distinguished members of the BOB, the warm assurances of our high consideration.”

LSN in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Douglas Ogbankwa Esq, promised to focus on matters that have been ignored in the legal profession in Nigeria, which it identified as including prioritising members’ welfare and maintaining an open and transparent system in choosing leaders of the legal profession at the national level.