President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday reiterated his administration’s commitment to the ‘Rule of Law and Justice.’
The President said this while declaring open the 59th edition of the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference (NBA-AGC) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the opening of the 2019 NBA-AGC was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos with the theme: “Facing the Future”.
The President, who was represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), reiterated his administration’s commitment to the ‘Rule of Law and Justice’.
While noting that the conference represents the largest gathering of lawyers, he expressed the desire that it would assist in nation building.
“The theme of the conference, is a reflection of the NBA as a critical stakeholder in the affairs of the nation,” he said.
Buhari urged delegates to take advantage of the conference to harness legal practice.
On behalf of the President, Malami consequently, declared the 2019 Conference open.
In his Goodwill message to delegates, Gov. Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, said that the State remains committed to the maintenance of law and order.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Femi Hamzat, welcomed all delegates to the Centre of Excellence, adding that the NBA is properly placed to direct the affairs of legal practitioners.
“It is my privilege to welcome you all to the 2019 Annual General conference of the NBA, which is held in the most preferred location of Lagos State.
“We have full assurance that this year’s conference will record unprecedented success.
“Giving its status in Africa, the Nigerian Bar Association is looked upon to lead the rest of the country to face the future.
“This administration has restated its commitment to social development, Justice dispensation and the maintenance of law and order,” he said
He said that the state would continue to collaborate with major stakeholders to ensure a realisation of its goals.
Earlier in his opening remark, NBA President, Mr Paul Usoro, welcomed all delegates and said that the purpose of such annual conferences is to afford lawyers the opportunity to place contemporary issues on national agenda.
He said that the Conference also affords legal practitioners an opportunity to review the framework within which they operate.
According to him, apart from renewing friendships during such annual conferences, lawyers are also properly disposed in ensuring a protection, promotion, and preservation of the rule of law.
“The essence of being lawyers is to ensure that the rule of law is preserved as lawyers represent the voice of the oppressed,” he said.
Usoro said that the rule of law ensures access to justice, protection of the weak and strong, and independence of the judiciary, adding that it has no preference for tribe or political groups.
He urged delegates to make good use of the conference, which he described as, “Agenda setting”.
In his key note address, President of the International Bar Association , Mr Horatio Neto, emphasised on the need for legal practice to be based on Information Communication Technology (ICT).
According to him, as part of efforts in realising the theme for the 2019 conference, “facing the future” the Bar must now look forward to adapting itself to the reality of new technology.
“There is the need for technology to infiltrate every aspect of legal practice including filing of processes as well as assignment of these processes,” he said.
Neto said that young lawyers are more eager to work in a technology environment, adding that he is optimistic that the legal profession will attain the technological height of creating robots to execute legal works.
NAN reports that the ceremony had in attendance, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Chief Judges, Judges of the Appeal and Supreme Courts, High Court Judges, Magistrates as well as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).
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