Professional misconduct: Erring Lawyers may lose practicing licence – NBA President
By; AMOS MATHEW, Kaduna.
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Augustine Alegeh, SAN, has reiterated the commitment of the association not to henceforth tolerate any act of professional misconduct from any of its members, stressing that erring lawyers depending on gravity of offence may lose practicing licence.
He said the decision to harp on professionalism has become imperative to rid NBA of all forms of quackery in the profession and ensure that only qualified lawyers are in the practice.
The NBA President who stated this shortly after inaugurating the Barnawa branch of the association in Kaduna, also disclosed that no fewer than 1000 fake lawyers have so far been discovered in the profession, adding that the number is still increasing.
He assured however that the association was not going to leave any stone unturned to get rid of quacks in the law profession, stressing that all lawyers enrolled have their stamp.
“Any fake or quack lawyer apprehended will be handed over to the law enforcement agency for necessary prosecution.
“NBA will deal decisively with any lawyer who misbehaves. All erring members of NBA will severely be punished, with punishment ranging from 2-5 years ban out of practice and in the case of a more grievous offence, such lawyer might lose his or her practicing licence.”
In his address shortly after the inauguration, the interim Chairman of the NBA, Barnawa Branch, Murtala Oladimeji Abdul-Rasheed Esq said, the interim branch officers intend to make Barnawa branch a model branch where the rule of professional conduct will be adhered to strictly.
In his remarks, Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai represented by his special adviser legal matters, Chris Umar expressed hope that the coming on board of the Barnawa Branch will reinforce the vibrancy of the bar in Kaduna State.
“On our part, the Kaduna State Government is committed to fostering an atmosphere that respects the rule of law and advances the right of the citizen. We take seriously the need to foster harmony, and uphold peace and security in our diverse state. We are committed to supporting the judiciary to better discharge its mandate.
“Crucial to advancing justice is the protection of witnesses from intimidation, coercion or hurt by criminal elements. The Kaduna State Executive Council recently approved a bill on Witness Protection, and we hope to see it become law after due consideration by the House of Assembly.
“We have also sent a bill on the treatment of persons involved in substance abuse to the House of Assembly. The nexus between drug abuse and crime is clear, and our new bill has provisions for both voluntary and involuntary treatment of persons abusing drugs, subject to judicial review.
“The government looks forward to continued cooperation with the bar and the bench in the interest of our people”, he assured.