NBA assures lawyers of speedy collection of stamp and seal
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has assured the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and all lawyers that the Association is committed to ensuring that all Nigerian lawyers get their stamps and seals within 48 hours of paying for them.
In a letter to the NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN, Chairman of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Richard Akinjide SAN had advocated for the temporal suspension of issuance of stamps and seals, citing reasons of delay in collection of the stamps by lawyers who had paid for months. Chief Akinjide also noted that adequate arrangements appear not to have been put in place before the commencement of the scheme.
But in swift reaction, NBA President Mr. Alegeh said the scheme was initiated to route out fake lawyers and touts from the legal profession. Alegeh pointed out that so far, the process has caught many ‘fake lawyers’ who had applied for the stamps and seal and whose names were not found and could not be verified by the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the NBA Database, creating the need for the NBA to be cautious in the issuance of the stamps.
He said: “So far, we have received so many applications for the stamps from so-called lawyers who are neither on the Supreme Court of Nigeria Roll nor the NBA Database, and even the branches they claimed to belong to couldn’t verify them. If we issue stamps to such suspicious persons, the profession would be in danger and that would make nonsense of our ongoing efforts to eliminate fakes and quacks from our noble profession.
“My assurance therefore to all Nigerian lawyers is that once you pay your Bar Practicing fees and your name and Call to Bar Number is verified from the Supreme Court Roll, you will be issued with stamp and seal within a maximum of 48 hours. The NBA has further put in place a smooth machinery to ensure that lawyers who haven’t completed the process so far will do so at the forthcoming Annual General Conference in Abuja and their stamps and seals will be issued to them right there, once they are verified.”
Alegeh in a letter to Chief Akinjide, cited Rule 10 (1- 2) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007 which empowers the NBA to issue the stamps and seals and ensure compliance accordingly. He said: “Learned Silk, please find attached a copy of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007. I trust that you will circulate it to all our respected Senior Advocates of Nigeria and draw attention specifically to Rule 10.”
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