By Ebere Agozie
The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has, at its 143rd meeting held on Friday. elevated 72 lawyers to the Senior Advocate cadre, the highest number ever, a statement signed by Dr. Festus Akande, on behalf of the committee secretary has said.
The committee had in September shortlisted a total of 137 candidates, both at advocate filtration stages and academic pre-qualification exercise, for the conferment of the coveted SAN rank.
The 72 successful candidates comprising 62 advocates and 10 in the academia, as against 30 in 2019, would be sworn in on Dec. 14, the statement said.
The Supreme Court committee meets annually to promote lawyers to the highly-coveted rank which often confers special privileges on holders, including prioritized call of their cases.
Akande said: `’the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria is awarded as a mark of excellence to members of the legal profession who have distinguished themselves as advocates and law academics’’.
Hajo Sarki, the acting Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and Secretary, LPPC, had earlier stated that, “All qualified candidates short listed are graded under the category system of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee Guidelines, 2018”.
She announced that the general public was at liberty to comment on the integrity, reputation and competence of the candidates, saying that any complaint (s) presented to the committee must be accompanied with a verifying affidavit deposed to before a Court of Record in Nigeria.
The successful candidates include the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences Commission, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, in the academics category.
Also on the list are two former General Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association, Isiaka Olagunju, and Afam Osigwe.
The statement also contained the name of a lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Tijjani Gazali, a former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Babatunde Ogala, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo (academics).
Other successful candidates on the list for 2020 are: Terruka Douglas Pepe, Aliyu Omeza Saiki, Jacob Enunwe Ochidi, Abdulwahab Mohammed, Moses Alfred Ebute, Taiye Abimbola Oladipo, Mumuni Adebimpe Jimoh, Muhammadu Katu, Sani Ndanusa, Mohammed Mohammed Ndarani, Gideon Musa Kuttu, Abdullahi Yahaya, Mella Audu Nungh, Yusuf Nya Akirikwen, and Yakubu Abdullahi Hussaini-Ruba.
Nasiru Adamu Aliyu, Abdul Mohammed, Hussaini Zakariyau, Uwadiogbu Sonny Ajala, Ukachi Fredrick Onuobia, Joseph Nnabuezeh Mbadugha, Chukwudi Chudi Obieze, Ejike Chukwugekwu Ezenwa, Chukwuka Nwabueze Ikwuazom, Lotanna Chuka Okoli, Tochukwu Dominic Maduka, Chukwuemeka Obiajuru Nwagu, Henry Okechukwu Akunebu, Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko, Boma Florence A. Alabi (Mrs), Efefiom Otu Efiom Ekong, and Lawrence Fubara Anga also made the list.
Similarly, the list also featured Prof Afeisimi Dominic Badaiki, Prof Erugo Sampson, Prof Sani Mohammad Adam, Prof Zacheus Adangor, Prof Festus Oghenemaro Emiri, Prof Joseph Efeyemineni Abugu, Prof Sunday Damilola Sunday, and Dr Omoh-Eboh Omgbai Ikheowa.
Others include, Robert Egwuno Emukpoeruo, Peter Adogbejire Mrakpor, Richard Oma Ahonaruogho, Jean Chiazor Anishere (Ms), Uzoma Henry Azikiwe, Osayaba Omorodion Giwa, Yusuf Asamah Kadiri, Babalola George Olatunde, Taiwo Johnson Kupolati, Obafemi Anthony Adewale, Adedapo Osariuyime Tunde-Olowu, Fatai-Ajibola Dalley, Babatunde Kohn Kwame Ogala, Bashorun Oluwatoyin Ajoke (Ms), Olumide Folarin-David Ayeni, and Olusegun Johnson Fabunmi.
The rest are John Mofolorunsho Majiyagbe, Funmilayo Adunni Quadri, Akinola Olugbenga Akintoye, Dada Adekunle Awosika, Remi Peter Olatubora, Festus Kayode Idepefo, Rasheed Okiki Adegoke, Musibau Adetunbi, Mahmud Kola Adesina, Oladapo Akande Akinosun, Nureini Soladoye Jimoh, and Oluseun Mobolaji Abimbola.