By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A total of 4, 779 candidates that were successful at the August/September 2018 Bar Final Examinations, were on Tuesday, admitted into the Nigerian Bar.
Among the new wigs that were okayed by the Body of Benchers and the Council of Legal Education to practice law in Nigeria, included 161 First Class law graduates, comprising of 113 female and 48 male candidates.
A further breakdown of the general performance of the candidates showed that whereas 694 out of a total number of 5,846 students that sat for the Bar Final Exams, made Second Class Upper, 1, 275 of them got Second Class Lower, while 2, 649 of them got the Pass grade.
Equally in the list of those that were called into the Bar included 11 candidates from the Previous Bar Final Examination.
The Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma, SAN, said the screening committee of the Body of Benchers carefully perused the record of each of the intending lawyers and found them worthy to be presented for Call and admission to the Nigerian Bar.
He said: “May I crave the indulgence of the Chairman and members of the Body of Benchers and distinguished personalities present to given an insight into the back ground of the 161 First Class Candidates.
“The 161 First Class Candidates cut across 15 Federal Universities, 14 State Universities and 5 Private Universities. 21 of them had First Class in their Universities, 134 had Second Class Upper while 6 had Second Class Lower in their Universities.
“They have maintained their positions as the best of the best in their Universities as well as the Nigerian Law School. It may interest you also to note that 113 of the First Class Candidates are females while 48 are male.
“I wish to assure all of you that we are shall remain the gate keepers of our noble profession. Be rest assured as teachers, we will continue to uphold the standard and integrity of the Bar.
“The general performance, which is unprecedented, justifies the huge investment and sacrifice made by all concerned.
“We promise to sustain and even surpass the attained record with a zeal to continuously progress in all we do as long as our students are willing to excel; we shall avail them of the opportunity to achieve their goals”, the Law School DG added.
In his address at the opening ceremony that took place at the International Conference Center, ICC, in Abuja, the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, said it was the first time in the history of the country that 161 students of the Nigerian Law School graduated with First Class degree.
“This has become a subject of public discuss in recent times. The bottomline is that we should have a system of Las teaching and practice which is up to standard and of which we are all proud of and can be defended at any given point”, Dalhatu stated.
He urged the new lawyers to adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, stressing that failure to abide by the Rules would attract stiff sanctions from the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee.
“The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee has bee carrying out its mandate in a just and fair manner without giving room for compromise, affection or ill-will. From January to November 2018, seven lawyers were disbarred, 12 lawyers were suspended (ranging from one year to three years), and one lawyer was admonished.
“You are therefore advised to be of good behavior as abide by the ethics and traditions of the profession to avoid being brought before the Committee.
“You must at all times eschew evil and stick to the truth, being guided by your conscience and the law”, Dalhatu charged the new lawyers.
The call to Bar ceremony for the new lawyers will end on Thursday.