By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – “The new rank comes with immense prestige, dignity and greater responsibilities” were the words of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on Monday as he swore in 62 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) in Abuja.
Sundiata Post recalls that some of the lawyers conferred with the SAN rank were Mr Mustapha Ibrahim, Mr Ikani Kanu-Agabi and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lawyers Mr Sylvanus Tahir and Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.
The CJN urged the new SANs to take on their new status with all sense of responsibility as it required high standards of merit.
“I will like to say that the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria comes with immense prestige, dignity and greater responsibilities as well.
“Traditionally, those conferred with the rank automatically become members of the Inner Bar and revered apostles of the temple of justice. It is an honour no conferee can afford to toy with.
“The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee took time to screen and assess all the relevant documents submitted by the applicants before arriving at its decision. I can confidently affirm that the committee has done an excellent job.
“The number of applicants for 2022 Senior Advocate of Nigeria award is 174. Out of this number, 111 are advocates and 63 are academics.
“The total number of qualified applicants after the preliminary screening is 129; comprising of 73 legal practitioners and 56 academics respectively.
“After conducting the specified screening and filtration exercises, the LPPC came up with 62 successful candidates who, by all standards, can be regarded as eminently deserving of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria,” he said.
The CJN congratulated the new silks, saying that their success did not come on a platter.
He urged them to display enormous integrity, discipline and impressive standard of advocacy as ministers in the temple of justice.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, urged them to live up to their new status as it was one of the most sought-after titles within the legal profession.
“I wish to reiterate that the conferment of the revered rank of SAN is not only a recognition of your outstanding achievements within your various fields.
“It is indeed, a call to service of our nation.
“As senior members of the Bar we must look beyond personal advancements and strive to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done,” Malami said.
Mustapha Ibrahim, a young legal practitioner conferred with the rank, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that being conferred with the rank of SAN was the dream of every lawyer and a call to higher responsibility.
He also said the elevation was a call to do more to improve the legal profession.
Ibrahim urged those who did not get selected this time around not to give up but to keep applying, saying that their determination would eventually pay off.
Sixty-two new silks, 53 are advocates while nine are academics.