NBA vows to reposition legal regulatory framework

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Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) (left); President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Abubakar Mahmud (SAN) and General Secretary of the NBA, Mr. Abiodun Isiaka Olagunju at the NBA Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee Town Hall Meeting in Lagos last week.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said it is determined to repositon the regulatory framework and architecture of the profession.

President of the association, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) said the task has become neccessary following serious concerns and loss of confidence that is obvious in the legal profession in the country.

Mahmoud who spoke at a one day town hall meeting of the Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee designed to examine the state of legal profession in Nigeria, stated that it has become imperative to look at regulatory issues so as to ensure that standards are met and that lawyers undergo the requisite training before they are called to the bar.

 The committee, chaired by the renowned lawyer, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) was set up among other things to examine the state of the legal profession in Nigeria, identify its challenges, the prospects and the roles of the legal regulatory architecture.

Idigbe said there was the need for a harmonised regulatory framework for the legal profession. According to him, the profession’s regulation is currently housed in different institutions such as the Supreme Court, the NBA, the Disciplinary Committee, the Body of Benchers and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC).

Idigbe said with globalisation, well-organised systems would join the Nigerian market and compete for the same legal services. Moreover, the committee will receive feedback as well as suggestions and strategies for repositioning the profession for greater efficiency and effectiveness within the Nigerian polity as well as rendering it more competitive in the global market place.

The event attracted participants from branches of NBA, Civil Society Organisations, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the Media and other critical stakeholders, who made valid contributions at the occasion.

Mahmoud said: “We are hoping that once the committee completes its work, we are going to set up the implementation process. The implementation process is not going to be strictly in the hands of the bar association, it would include other regulators such as National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council to ensure that whatever we come out with, will be effectively and swiftly implemented to give rise to a new legal and regulatory framework for the profession.

“Hopefully, we don’t expect any problem in terms of harmonising our efforts as both lawyers and non-lawyers are much more eager to see a more robust and responsive legal profession. So we are confident that we would have the support of the National Assembly.” The committee, he added, has until the end of April to conclude its work.

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