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The event which held at the main auditorium of the Supreme Court complex, Abuja, was witnessed by Supreme Court justices, members of the Body of Benchers, other jurists, lawyers, as well as friends, family members and well-wishers of recipients.
Speaking at the occasion, Justice Mukhta stressed the significance of the past legal year which she noted was marked by great developments and witnessed significant growth in the Nigerian Judiciary.
She expressed satisfaction with the decision of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee to endorse the elevation of the 17 legal practitioners, adding that being honored with the status of “SAN” is certainly a considerable personal achievement and a worthy cause for celebration.
Mukhtah said the conferment of the rank of SAN was in accordance with the Legal Practitioner’s Act, Cap L. 11 Laws of the Federal Republic Nigeria 2004, which provides “ that no person shall be conferred with the rank of Seniour Advocate of Nigeria unless he or she has qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria for a period of not less than 10 years, and that such a person has achieved distinction in the legal profession in such a manners as the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee may determine from time to time”.
She urged the recipients to keep discharging their duties with diligence, integrity, discipline and demonstrate the highest standard of advocacy.
In a separate remark, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Augustine Alegeh, SAN, called for a total reform of the judiciary.
The AGF, who asked for a change of attitude among lawyers and judges, called for a review of the pattern of assessing the performance of judges.
He praised the CJN and the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee for including Olu Onagoruwa among those conferred with SAN, noting that the committee’s action was a courageous step taken to redress the wrong done him.
The new SANs are: Olu Onagoruwa, Joash Amupitan, Olusola Idowu, Ernest Ojukwu, Ahamefula Ejelam, George Onyemenam and Tawo Eja Tawo.
Others are Olatunde Adejuyigbe, Sylvanus Ogwemoh, Adewale Olawoyin, Joshua Olatoke, Teslim Busari, Kevin Nwufo, Amuda-Kannike Abiodun, Oluwakemi Balogun, Hakeem Afolabi and Gerald Ezeuko.
A total of 132 legal practitioners and academics applied for the prestigious legal honour – 109 of them legal Practitioners and 23 academics.