By INNOCENT ANABA
A female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mrs Sylvia Sinaba, and her Legal Assistant got drowned at the Lagos bar beach, Thursday, where they had gone for their chambers end of year party.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that it was the Legal Assistant, whose name could not be immediately ascertained that first got stuck in the water and while struggling with the wave Mrs. Sinabu got in to rescue her (Sylvia) and in the process, both were swept away.
Meanwhile, Nigerian lawyers, have expressed sadness at the deaths, describing it as a great loss to the legal profession.
Lagos lawyer, Dame Carol Ajie, said, “the sad news has just been broken to me by my colleague. She (Sylvia) was a rare breed, brilliant, dedicated, committed learned friend. Even in death, she took the risk to help humanity. She was a shining legal star and held her own particularly as a distinguished member of the Census Tribunal, Abuja where she gave rulings that the brightest of lawyers found unimpeachable. I miss my Lady, dearly. May her gentle soul rest in peace perfect peace. Amen.”
Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, in his reaction said, “I knew Sylvia Shinaba nee Ekpo when she was a junior counsel with Kehinde Sofola Chambers in the mid 80s. She was a real tiger at the Bar, a very brilliant lawyer, very erudite and yet very friendly. She brooked no nonsense and was an epitome of discipline. It was no wonder she later became the chairperson of FIDA Nigeria. I appeared against her on a number of cases and found her very reliable. Her elevation to the inner Bar in 2009 though late in coming was very deserving.”
“Her death is a big loss to the legal profession. May her soul rest in peace. Amen,” he added.
Former NBA Secretary General, Mr Ibrahim Mark, said, “their deaths is so painful but we pray God to grant their souls eternal respite and their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Mrs Stella Ugboma, International President of FIDA, said “what a sad way to end the year. As past chairperson of NBA Women Forum, I am shocked at this tragic event which took the life of our NBA Women Forum Trailblazers Recipient 2010. She was an accomplished legal luminary and committed to the empowerment of women. As chairperson of FIDA Lagos, she handled so many probono cases. In Church she practised her catholic faith with such commitment and devotion. May God console her husband and children and may her soul and that of her Secretary rest in peace.”
“Hers was a very sad and painful death. We are depleted again. Remember Snr Shettima Liberty and Abdulkadir SAN, all in quick succession. May their souls rest in perfect peace and may the lord minister comfort to all of us, dear ones,” said Caleb Dajan.
Prof Chidi Odinkalu said “one will add that E. Baderinwa, immediate past Chair, Lagos Branch, was killed by assassins bullets in the last 36 hours. May their souls find merciful repose.”
Mrs Ayo Obe, former President of Civil Liberties Organisations, CLO, said “there are some people who, however, long it is between times that you see them, you always think of them with a smile. Sylvia Shinaba was such a one. This is such terrible, terrible news. I remember her from her early days in practice, starting out with Kehinde Sofola & Co. I remember her darling little daughter whose birth came just soon enough after mine for us to exchange tips. How she grew in her professional life to more than fulfil her early promise. We are all so very sad but what a noble