New Lawyers association emerges, pulls out of NBÀ
By Jide Alo
A new lawyers association, Society of Lawyers as challenged the domination of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA since 1933.
Howver, the new led by group is led by some radical lawyers believed to be backed by several old lawyers dissatisfied with the NBA increasingly Conservative and pro establishment outlook.
The new group is said to have emerged after series of consultations with many lawyers unhappy with the NBA leadership over the past more than two decades after the glorious era when the NBA was led by Progressives like Alao Aka Basorun and Olisa Agbakoba among others.
The new group is led by Kunle Ogunba, SAN.
A Sunday statement made available to Irohinoodua and signed by the National Publicity Secretary of LSN, Douglas Ogbankwa said the LSN is out to define legal practice in Nigeria.
But on Monday,
Richard Oma Ahonaruogho,(SAN) countered the new group saying he remains the Convener and founding father of the Law Society of Nigeria urging Nigerians to disregard the earlier statement
The monopoly of NBA has been unsuccessfully challenged until ñow. The NBA is perceived by some of its members as elitist while its elections have always been manipulated to favour the rich but not necessarily decent and upright lawyers who can use the association to further the common good.
Mr Ogbankwa said the LSN is the “new sheriff in town”.
Many lawyers have in the past expressed concern about NBA failure to leave up to public expectations being caught in the web of dirty national politics and hobnobbing with the establishment failing to rise up to the profound tradition of human rights and the defense of the rule of law.
Ogbankwa said the legal profession in Nigeria has a chequered history from ”the sublime to the ridiculous”.
Mr Ogbankwa said that LSN will bring legal practice back to international best practices.
“In redefining the ideas of the founding fathers of the legal profession in Nigeria, the Law Society of Nigeria, a new professional association of lawyers called to the Nigerian Bar, has been established.
“This is in keeping with International best practices, which allow for an alternative, to ensure that lawyers thrive within the realm of those they have shared values with,” he said.
It is on the verge of uncommon and necessary reforms in our legal annals and the ageless egalitarian posture on freedom to lawfully associate, that the LSN also writes your distinguished body, introducing herself,” the LSN said in the statement.
Ogbankwa said the pro tem National Executive Committee of LSN notified the Body of Benchers of the association’s existence and its national officers.
“The LSN, with membership spread all over Nigeria, exists to empower the legal profession with quality member services, facilitate access to justice, maintain and advance the cause of justice, and promote the rule of law through advocacy and good governance,” he stated.
The executives are : Mr Ogunba, SAN, President: Nimi Walson-Jack, Vice President; Abdulqadir Alhaji Sani, Secretary; Olasupo Ojo, Welfare Secretary and; Chioma Ferguson, Treasurer.
Other executive members are Douglas Ogbankwa, Publicity Secretary; Zara Umar Yakubu, Financial Secretary; Alice Ogaku Awonugba, Assistant Secretary and; Hassan Sheriff, Assistant Publicity Secretary.
However, on Monday,
Prince (Dr.) Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, SAN countered the New organisation saying he is the authentic convener and founding Secretary of the group.