Amidst controversies on the recent unilateral amendment of the RPC, the Attorney-General & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN was yesterday appointed “Life Bencher” by the Body of Benchers- the highest honour that the body bestows.
Sequel to the unilateral amendment, some lawyers have called for Malami to be stripped of the rank of “Senior Advocate of Nigeria” over his alleged unilateral amendment of the 2007 Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Olumide Akpata had told lawyers to stay calm and disregard the purported amendment, insisting that they were made without due process and could not stand.
Malami has been serverely criticised by various members of the Bar for allegedly usurping the powers of the General Council of the Bar to issue a gazette amending the Rules.
Others who were awarded the rank reserved for lawyers of the highest distinction (Life Bencher) are Justice A. G. Mshelia, Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Jos; Justice Suleiman Kawu, Chief Judge of Kwara State; Justice P. O. Nnadi, Chief Judge of Imo State; Justice M. L. Abimbola, Chief Judge of Oyo State; Kaka Shehu Lawan, Attorney-General of Borno State; Uwemedimo Nwoko, Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State; Mr. Sulaiman Usman, Attorney-General of Sokoto State; Mr. Francis Chuka Agbu SAN, NBA Representative at the Body of Benchers; Chief Ferdinand Orbih SAN, NBA Representative at the Body of Benchers; Dr. T. C. Osanakpo SAN, NBA Representative at the Body of Benchers, and Mr. Joe Agi SAN who was before now a bencher.