SANs urged to defend democracy

Prof. Fidelis Oditah

Worried about the general breakdown of law and order and insecurity, members of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) have been charged to defend and strengthen the nation’s democracy by protecting its infrastructure.

Prof Fidelis Oditah (SAN), made the charge at the maiden yearly lecture of the Body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (BOSAN) with the theme: “The Evolving Role of Senior Advocates in the Administration of Justice and Nation Building”.

While noting the challenges in the judiciary caused by bread down of law and order in the country as well as political intolerance and greed, he urged members of BOSAN to assist the court to achieve the objective of criminal and civil adjudication.

“As role models, members of BOSAN, he said, should ensure the prestige and survival of the rank by demonstrating integrity and exemplary conducts,” he said.Prof Oditah also stressed that senior advocates should not allow elections to become instruments for the subversion of the will of the people, for example, by using the legal process abusively to challenge free and fair electoral results as happened in 1993, nor assist despots to claim or retain power.

In his remarks, former justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola said apart from the need for the senior advocates to perform a front – rank role in ensuring quick dispensation of justice, there is also need for them to join in the protection of the National Judicial policy and ensure that the policy by its implementation helps to promote, not only the dignity, but worth and quality of the bar and the Bench.

He also urged them to ensure digging deep in enhancing quality in the growth of the Nigerian law as well as protecting Nigerian law in its application but also freeing it and its jurisprudence and literature from stagnation.

Also, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, who spoke on the theme: “Practicing in a Regulated Profession: Challenges of Contemporary Law Practice” stressed that the legal profession, as a regulated profession serves as the bearer of the justice system as it is directly engaged in the administration of justice.

The CJN said the reform of the justice sector is indispensable to the rule of law as it is through the instrumentality of reform that the yearnings of the public can be met.In his remarks, the chairman, BOSAN, Continuing Legal Education Sub-Committee, Professor Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), said the lecture is an effort on the part of the Body to enhance the knowledge of members of the inner Bar and other legal practitioners.According to him, it is clear and evident that the affairs of the country need the input of senior lawyers who are well versed and grounded in the nuances of the law.

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