By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
A total of 1, 785 candidates were on Tuesday called to the Nigerian Bar, having passed the January 2020 Bar final examinations conducted by the Nigerian Law School under the supervision of the Council of Legal Education.
Speaking at the Call-to-Bar ceremony held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu (SAN) said 1, 779 candidates passed the January 2020 Bar final examinations, while six candidates were from previous Bar final examinations.
According to Hayatu, a total of 2, 515 students participated at the examinations and a total of 1, 779 were successful, out of which five candidates were graded in first class, 76 graded in second class upper, 633 graduated with second class lower while 1, 065 came out with a pass in the Bar final examinations.
He said the candidates successfully completed the vocational training at the Nigerian Law School as prescribed by the Legal Education Act and had also taken the prescribed examinations and the dining terms and met all other required conditions set by the Council of Legal Education.
“I am happy to affirm that they all exhibited good manners and decorum during their training. They have also been groomed in the best ethics and ethos of our noble profession”, he said.
Hayatu, who congratulated the “new wigs” for their hard work, dedication and steadfastness, disclosed that he closely monitored the aspirants during their training and vouched for each and every one of them as men and women of learning and character as demanded by the Council of Legal Education.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, O. C Okocha (SAN) said since the inception in 1962, the Council of Legal Education, through the Nigerian Law School has continued to ensure that all candidates for admission into the legal profession in Nigeria are equipped with requisite knowledge and skill to enable them practice as legal practitioners.
He charged the new lawyers to be of good character and uphold honesty and integrity, which is the hallmark of the legal profession.
“In all that you do while in practice, commit yourselves to upholding the rule of law and pursuit for justice. As legal practitioners, we are all bound to observe and uphold the rules of professional conduct in the legal profession”, he said.
Okocha, who is also a life bencher warned the new lawyers that any breach of the rules and regulations will be meted with severe census and sanctions.
He said the Body of Benchers has the power to enforce discipline and decorum at the Bar and that the exercise of the power is done through the instrumentality of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), which is a standing committee of the Body of Benchers.
Okocha therefore encouraged the new lawyers to be of good character and conduct and not to be found wanting in any way whatsoever in their conduct as lawyers.