by ABIODUN NEJO
• Babalola wants SAN title for all qualified lawyers
The CJN, represented by a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, said ridding the profession of the bad eggs in the judiciary, bar and among law teachers was necessary to restore the dignity of the profession.
Mohammed spoke yesterday at the opening of the five-day 48th Annual National Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers, NALT, with the theme “Mainstreaming Interdisciplinary Approach to Legal Profession: Imperatives for Nigeria’s Development” holding at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The CJN said: “For the legal profession to flourish, all hands must be on deck to flush out the bad eggs to restore the dignity of the profession.
Mohammed, who lauded ABUAD founder, Aare Afe Babalola, for his contributions to the development of the legal profession and educational growth, said the legal luminary had demonstrated that education needed private participation and must not be left in the hands of government alone.
The CJN also lauded the performance of ABUAD law students, saying “the graduates of this institution have a lot to contribute to the development of this country”.
Babalola, who said ABUAD had already adopted interdisciplinary approach in law and other disciplines, said: “We care about our students and their future by creating interdisciplinary and outreaching model entrepreneurial education. We want to build a total man of each student.”
The ABUAD founder charged Nigerian law faculties to enlarge and broaden their research interests and methods if they wanted to “contribute a larger quantum of empirical knowledge and innovative theory to the understanding of law and legal institutions”.
Babalola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, faulted the process of appointing only 15 lawyers as SAN yearly among qualified lawyers, leaving a backlog of qualified legal professionals.
He said the selection process has led to the “man-know-man” syndrome where those who appoint legal practitioners to SAN-ship tend to favour those they know ahead of those who are qualified.” Babalola recommended that appointment of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, should follow the practice in England by giving the title to all that are qualified for the rank”.
The ABUAD founder also urged the conference to recommend to government to take a cue from what obtains in Germany and the United States where a student to be admitted into their law colleges must have earned a degree in some other disciplines or at least GCE Advanced Level as obtained in England”.
The 2015 NALT President, Professor Smaranda Olarinde, who is the Dean, ABUAD College of Law, said the conference was to strengthen internal capacity in the teaching of law in Nigeria and ensure that it conforms with international standard and best practices.
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