The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has kicked off a full blown war against professional misconducts by lawyers. The body will this week inaugurate a Legal Professional Regulation Review Committee as part of its efforts to curb the menace and reposition the legal practice in Nigeria.
The NBA General Secretary, Mr. Isiaka Olagunju, who disclosed this to journalists in Ibadan, said the body was disturbed and somehow embarrassed by the deluge of petitions against some members on allegations of misconduct, adding that the NBA is making moves to re-invigorate its members’ disciplinary process and improve on ethics development
He said the Legal Professional Regulation Review Committee will be inaugurated by the NBA President, Mr. Mahmoud Balarabe (SAN), in Abuja this week.
According to Olagunju, “the core mandate of the committee is to review the current regulatory objectives and the regulatory architecture of the legal profession and advise on its suitability to meet the current requirements for a robust, responsive and independent modern legal profession in Nigeria.”
While identifying enthronement of sanity and full restoration of the glory and pride of legal practice in the country as core of the current NBA leadership’s mandates, the scribe vowed that the association would treat every petition fairly, saying there would be no sacred cow in handling professional misconduct cases against members.
“If there is a rule and you are in breeach of that rule, of course, you will face the wrath of the law. It is going to be an holistic process of regulating the legal profession in Nigeria. Some members have been dealt with and in past and some more will face disciplinary actions as soon as allegations against them are established.
“Nigerians expect an high level of integrity from lawyers. And that has been our strength as professionals. The moment you are a lawyer, people believe you must be incorruptible. So, if any lawyer is found wanting in his conduct, the fellow will face proper disciplinary measures.
“We want the whole world to know that there is a new sheriff in town now in the NBA, in person Mahmoud Balarabe (SAN), who is bent on regulating the legal profession for the benefit of the entire Nigeria. There won’t be any sacred cow. I can assure you of that,” he said.