NBA Urges Investment in Young Lawyers for Higher Bar Standard 

* Says Kano safe, ready for 2024 conference 

Alex Enumah in Abuja 

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Section on Legal Practice (NBA-SLP), Mrs Boma Alabi (SAN), has called for the investment on young lawyers, so as to guarantee a higher standard at the nation’s bar.

The NBA-SLP, who made the call while speaking on the level of preparation for the 2024 Annual Conference of the SLP, remarked that the young lawyers are the future of the profession hence, the need to invest time and resources for their proper development.

Meanwhile, she has assured participants that everything has been put in place for a successful and memorable event.

The one week conference, which kicks off from June 2 in Kano State, has as theme, ‘Administration of Justice in Nigeria: Challenges and Reforms.’

In an interview with journalists, Alabi, who observed that the Section on Legal Practice has lived up to expectations, stated that the leadership is consciously working to improve upon the efficiency of the profession, because of its crucial role in the socioeconomic development of the country.

Speaking on her leadership of the SLP, the senior lawyer remarked that: “As Chairman of the NBA-SLP, I am particularly interested in collaborating with the YLF, as I firmly believe that they are the future of the profession and we must invest in the future if we want to set a higher bar than we presently have. 

“We are currently working on setting standards in different areas of practice and providing guidelines for lawyers for use of AI, to enhance data protection and ensure we are using modern tools safely and ethically. 

“We have our acclaimed journal which is published every year thanks to the industry and generosity of our leader E. C. Ukalla (SAN). As a matter of fact, we will be giving delegates to our conference free copies of the journal.”

The SLP chairman, however lamented the harsh economic climate in the country which she says lawyers are not exempted from, adding that notwithstanding, the Section has managed to sail through.

“The major challenge the SLP is facing is the same as every organization in our current economic climate. Costs are rising and income decreasing. Tough times indeed. However, we still have to deliver on our mandate and have managed to do so through hosting hybrid and virtual events. And partnering with others such as the very successful event in Enugu on ADR hosted by the Enugu State judiciary in collaboration with the SLP,” Alabi said.

She expressed excitement over the upcoming conference in Kano which has been tagged ‘The Arewa Conference’. 

Speaking on the choice of Kano for this year’s conference, she stated that Kano and Jigawa States were historically one, and still enjoy close ties, “So we are being co-hosted by both states. You must have noted the fact that our CPC chairman is my learned friend of the Silk from Sokoto State, Dr. Suleiman (SAN).”

Alabi explained that the theme of the conference was carefully chosen to reflect the ongoing battle to continually improve upon their game and ensure justice is delivered and delivered expeditiously. 

“We have built various topics around the central theme which is, ‘Administration of Justice: Challenges and Reforms’,” she said.

On the roles lawyers can play in improving the country’s electoral process and guarantee good governance, the senior lawyer stated that: “The problem of credible elections will persist until the electorate are more enlightened and Nigerians entrusted with the responsibility of conducting elections realize that sabotaging their responsibility for short-term gain is actually self destruction in the longer-term.”

She however maintained that the NBA-SLP would continue to play a pivotal role in educating the citizenry and equipping lawyers with practical information that can assist them in their advocacy in election petitions. 

“The press too has a crucial role in the process and we must all do our bit. We are only 25 years and that in comparison is a nascent democracy. It will get better one community at a time,” she added.

Meanwhile, she assured all attendees of the conference that Kano is safe and ready to host the NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP) conference. 

“The NBA has received assurances from the Kano State Government and the relevant law enforcement agencies in this regard. This was further confirmed by the Chairmen of Kano, Ungoggo and Dutse Branches of the NBA, Mr Sagir Sulieman Gezawa, Muhammed Jibrin and Mustapha Kashim respectively, several members of these branches, and Mr Aminu Sani Gadanya, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the NBA-SLP Conference,” she added.

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