[Survey Report] Lawyers Score NBA Poor on Members’ Welfare

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Nigerian Lawyers have scored the Nigerian Bar Association poor on the performance of the Bar on the welfare of her members.

This is based on a report of 2018 published by Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN based on a survey carried out between the last quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

The survey report showed that Lawyers overwhelmingly scored NBA Poor to nonexistent (39% to 0%) on the three welfare aims and objectives stated in her Constitution as follows:

(a) 68.6% on “creation of schemes for the encouragement of newly qualified members“.
(b) 70.03% on “Assistance to aged or incapacitated members of the Association“.
(c) 67.14% on “Establishment of schemes for the promotion of the welfare, security and
economic advancement of members of the legal profession”.

On the same welfare objectives the following percentages of lawyers assessed NBA performance as fair (average), which is score of 40-49%.

(a) 13.72% on “creation of schemes for the encouragement of newly qualified members“.
(b) 14.85% on “Assistance to aged or incapacitated members of the Association.“
(c) 17.01% on “Establishment of schemes for the promotion of the welfare, security and
economic advancement of members of the legal profession”.

Only between 8.75% and 10.42% of lawyers scored NBA “Good” on the performance on welfare issues.

When segregated by year of call/status/Sexes the following “Poor” scores emerge on the three welfare objectives as follows:

BY YEAR OF CALL/STATUS- SCORE 39-0%

OBJECTIVES Under 7 7-10 10-20 20 Plus SAN
Creation of schemes for the encouragement of newly qualified members 60.46% 67.96% 65.55% 48.12% 60%
Assistance to aged or incapacitated members of the Association. 60.51% 73.58% 73.72% 86.85% 70%
Establishment of schemes for the promotion of the welfare, security and economic advancement of members of the legal profession 59.46% 74.77% 70% 58.63% 70%

BY SEX – SCORE 39-0%

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OBJECTIVES FEMALES MALES
Creation of schemes for the encouragement of newly qualified members 67.33% 65.44%
Assistance to aged or incapacitated members of the Association. 64.76% 68.71%
Establishment of schemes for the promotion of the welfare, security and economic advancement of members of the legal profession 60% 65.49%

The report states that “the survey was conducted among lawyers on their assessment/evaluation of the Nigerian Bar Association’s performance on its constitutional objectives written in Section 3 of the Constitution”; and that “the survey took place between the last quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018. Hard copies survey forms were distributed at meetings of lawyers and at few law firms. The locations for the survey were: Lagos, Zaria, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Yola, Ikeja, Yenagoa, Jos, Umuahia, Onitsha, Maiduguri, Ilorin, and Kano.”

The report further states that “a total of 797 completed survey forms were returned though some participants did not complete some parts of the form” and that the completed forms were in the following categories:

(a) Sex
Females – 229
Males – 537
Sex not stated– 31

(b) Call Age/Status
Lawyers under 7yrs – 414
Lawyers 7plus– under 10yrs– 106
Lawyers 10plus–under 20yrs–123
Lawyers 20 plus – 119
SANs – 10
Not stated Age/status – 25

According to the report “Participants were required to rate what NBA has done or is doing to actualize the aims and objectives stated in Section 3 of the NBA Constitution. The indicators were:
1. 80 – 100%: Excellent;
2. 60 – 79%: Very Good
3. 50 – 59%: Good
4. 40 – 49%: Fair
5. 30 – 39%: Poor
6. 1 – 29%: Very Poor
7. 0 %: Nonexistent”

Other highlights of the report shows how lawyers rate the actions of the Association at actualising some objectives of the NBA Constitution as follows:

ON RULE OF LAW/HUMAN RIGHTS:
25.42% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average);
23.87% of lawyers scored NBA Good
19.58% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
13.75% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
11.157% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
3.5% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent
2.72% of lawyers scored NBA Zero

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ON MAINTENANCE OF THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT, ETIQUETTE & DISCIPLINE:
30.84% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average);
26.44% of lawyers scored NBA Good
15.49% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
13.48% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
9.617% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
3.07% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent
1.07% of lawyers scored NBA Zero

ON MAINTENANCE AND DEFENCE OF THE INTEGRITY & INDEPENDENCE OF THE BAR & JUDICIARY:
30.74% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average);
23.74% of lawyers scored NBA Good
19.2% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
11.54% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
8.37% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
3.24% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent
3.24% of lawyers scored NBA Zero

ON PROMOTION & ADVANCEMENT OF LEGAL EDUCATION/CLE/ADVOCACY & JURISPRUDENCE:
30.41% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average);
23.72% of lawyers scored NBA Good
22.15% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
11.01% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
7.73% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
2.28% of lawyers scored NBA Zero
2.21% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent

ON IMPROVEMENT & ADVANCEMENT OF THE SYSTEM OF ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, ITS PROCEDURE & ARRANGEMENT OF COURT BUSINESS:
30.41% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average);
23.72% of lawyers scored NBA Good
22.15% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
11.01% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
7.73% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
2.28% of lawyers scored NBA Zero
2.21% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent

LEGAL AID: ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF A SYSTEM OF PROMPT AND EFFICIENT LEGAL AID AND ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE IN NEED BUT WHO ARE UNABLE TO PAY FOR SAME:
27.34% of lawyers scored NBA Poor;
24.78% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average)
16.94% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
16.56% of lawyers scored NBA Good
7.19% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
6.16% of lawyers scored NBA Zero
1.03% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent

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ENCOURAGEMENT AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT OF ACCESS TO COURTS AT REASONABLY AFFORDABLE FEES AND OF REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL BEFORE COURTS AND TRIBUNALS:
28.84% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average)
23.27% of lawyers scored NBA Good
22.86% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
9.52% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
8.3% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
5.03% of lawyers scored NBA Zero
2.18% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent

ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL LAW LIBRARY:
30.81% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
19.32% of lawyers scored NBA Zero
18.51% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average)
13.51% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
9.73% of lawyers scored NBA Good
5% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
3.11% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent

CREATION AND MAINTENANCE OF AN ENDOWMENT FUND FOR THE PROPER OBSERVANCE AND DISCHARGE OF ANY OF THE AIMS AND OBJECTS:
26.81% of lawyers scored NBA Zero
22.02% of lawyers scored NBA Poor
17.1% of lawyers scored NBA Very Poor
15.67% of lawyers scored NBA Fair (average)
12.95% of lawyers scored NBA Good
4.02% of lawyers scored NBA Very Good
1.42% of lawyers scored NBA Excellent

Download detailed survey below:

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Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN
Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association
Future State of the Legal Profession sub-committee of the Legal Profession Review and reform Committee;
Immediate Past Deputy Director-General and Head Nigerian Law School Augustine Nnamani Campus Enugu.

 

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