A new body of lawyers other than the traditionally recognized Nigerian Bar Association has sprung up and is galvanizing support for the body which would be revolutionary in the history of legal practice in Nigeria.
However, in a new development which has been generating reactions, a new body known as the “Law Society of Nigeria” has announced itself as an alternative body to the Nigerian Bar Association. This was formally made known in a letter to the Body of Benchers and a media statement by the Publicity Secretary of the Society, Douglas Ogbankwa.
In the letter sighted by TheNigeriaLawyer, dated 24th of October, and addressed to the Body of Benchers Chairman through its Secretary, Daniel Tela, the society introduced itself to the Association.
Part of the letter reads, “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 s°rvices (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.”
The letter also intimated the leadership of the Body of Benchers of the leadership structure of the Association as follows:
Kunle Ogunba SAN President
- Hon. Nimi Walson Jack Vice President
- Abdulqadir Alhaji Sani Secretary
- Olasupo Ojo Welfare Secretary
- Chioma Ferguson Tresurer
- Douglas Ogbankwa Publicity Secretary
- Zara Umar Yakub Financial Secretary
- Alice Ogaku Awonugba Assistant Secretary
- Hassan Sherif Assistant Publicity Secretary
The letter equally used the medium to express LSN’s appreciation and congratulations to the Body of Benchers on the industry of the BOB and the remarkable progress that has made to strengthen the regulation of the Bar and the activities of lawyers. It added, “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, SAP. 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.”
It further noted, “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 freedom to lawfully associate. that the LAN also writes your distinguished body introducing herself.”
As the new Association draws reactions from within and outside the legal profession, a quick search of the name on the CAC Portal did not produce any result contrary to the Society’s claim of CAC registration.
A lawyer stated that the Society was registered since 1994.