(By Sylvester Udemezue)
I agree with the argument that one doesn’t need to be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in order to qualify to lead the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Indeed, every lawyer (SAN or non-SAN) who has the urge and the good vision for the Bar, and is competent enough to lead, can rightly aspire to lead. However, I have seen some comments by a handful of lawyers, suggesting, “let’s try a non-SAN this time around.” One is then forced to quickly retort, “Is it an offence to be a SAN?” Would rejecting a good and competent candidate only because he/she is a Learned Silk, not amount to cutting your nose just to spite your face?
The truth is that becoming a Senior Advocate of Nigeria is no mean feat. So, a lawyer who has clearly earned that prestigious title, and has consistently and outstandingly justified his or her possession of the title, should never be vilified nor discriminated against on grounds only that he is a Learned Silk. Accordingly, statements such as “let’s try a non-SAN this time,” are not only immature, dull and awkward, but also completely irrelevant to the issues at stake now, which bother squarely on the future & wellbeing of the legal profession in Nigeria. A lawyer’s decision to support a candidate should be based on credible, objective, and unsentimental considerations, not on some parochial and myopic factors.
There is no doubt that the legal profession in Nigeria is facing serious challenges. Yet, no particular segment of the profession (not the SANs nor the non-SANs) could be said to be solely responsible for these challenges. Again, some of our colleagues, in to explaining their resentment against holders of the SAN title, have alluded to what they describe as “the unbecoming conduct of some SANs.” This then raises the questions: Are all SANs bad or evil? Are professional misconducts not found both among SANs and among non-SANs, in the same way that professional excellence abounds among SANs as well as among non-SANs?
If we reject a SAN or all SANs simply because of the misconduct of just few of his/her/their brother silks, then, in the same manner, should we also call for the rejection of all non-SANs, because there are non-SANs whose conducts also leave very much to be desired?
I beg us to remain objective and not get carried away by irrelevant and sentimental campaign statements, slogans or gossips. We need to stand up and get counted for the *Unity and Greater Growth * of this noble profession. Being a SAN is an achievement and a thing to be celebrated, not to be condemned. ▪️Indeed, dear learned friend, when next anyone comes to you with such noisome, unattractive awkward slogans as “Let’s Try a Non-SAN,” a befitting reply to give him/her is, ”It Is A Huge Honour, Not An Offence, To Be A SAN?”
On his part, Dr BABATUNDE AJIBADE, SAN, eminently earned his status as a SAN, based on his outstanding performance as a practicing advocate and his sterling contributions to the development and wellbeing of the profession of law in Nigeria. I need not begin to recall that he is indeed the very first to be awarded that title among his call-mates. Yet, Dr AJIBADE’s stepping forward to Unite the Nigerian Bar For Greater Growth is not necessarily because he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
1️⃣A deeply experienced, and active Courtroom Advocate! 2️⃣A deeply Experienced, And Active Commercial Solicitor? 3️⃣A Deeply Experienced Legal Consultant! 4️⃣A Deeply Experienced, Consummate Intellectual! 5️⃣A Deeply Experienced & Committed Bar Man! 6️⃣A Philanthropist Per Excellence! 7️⃣A Deeply Experienced Diplomat! 8️⃣An Astute Corporate Administrator! 9️⃣Tranparently Honest & Unassuming! ?Easily Approachable! 1️⃣1️⃣Undoubtedly Down To Earth. & 1️⃣2️⃣With a most-appealing personality! ▪️Dr AJIBADE is all these rolled together into one. ▪️ Indeed, An Idea Whose Time Is Now! ▪️Join: