By Alex Enumah
A total of 1,785 successful graduates of the Nigerian Law School were on Tuesday called to the Nigerian Bar.
They emerged successful at the January Bar Examination, just as a total of 736 were said to have failed the exams.
Giving a breakdown of the result at the Call to Bar ceremony held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the Director General, Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu (SAN), stated that a total of 2,515 students sat for the examinations but only a total of 1,779 were successful.
He said out of this figure, five candidates made First Class, 76 made Second Class Upper, 633 graduated with Second Class Lower Division, while 1,065 came out with a pass.
The DG added that 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.
He however congratulated the “new wigs” for their hard work, dedication and steadfastness.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Body of Benchers, Onueze C Okocha (SAN), noted that since 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 practise as legal practitioners.
He therefore 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 punishment.
According to him, 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.