75 Lawyers Fail SAN Test
No fewer than 75 lawyers who sought to take the coveted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) have had their hopes dashed, even as 31 others smile home with the sought-after trophy
The successful applicants would be sworn by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (GCON) on September 24, 2018 at an event to unveil the new legal year.
According to LPPC Secretary who also doubles as Supreme Court Registrar, Hadizatu Mustapha, while 83 applicants came under the Advocacy Category, 23 others applied under the Academic Category. Only two women sought the rank, even as only one made the mark. Each applicant is required to pay N400,000 application fee.
While some eyebrows have been raised concerning the process leading to the award of the rank, the Chief Justice of Nigeria had last year issued new guidelines (http://lppc.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/LPPC-Guidelines-2017-as-Amended.pdf) towards ensuring that influence does not trump merit in the award process.
Human rights advocate, Mr. Femi Falana SAN had while delivering the keynote address at the 90th birthday anniversary ceremony of Lagos lawyer, Pa Tunji Gomez called for a “democratization” of the award process, insisting that the system of pegging the number to be appointed should be jettisoned. In its place, all applicants who qualify for the rank should be accorded it.
Reflecting on his tortuous journey to take silk, Falana said: “Today, large-scale reforms have taken place. And when I stand before you and l am described as SAN, I think it was the struggle that pushed the legal establishment to expand the frontiers to accommodate those who were otherwise said not to be fit and proper persons to be Senior Advocates of Nigeria.”
According to the LPPC, “The award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is a privilege awarded as a mark of excellence to members of the legal profession who are in full time legal practice, have distinguished themselves as advocates and have made significant contribution to the development of the legal profession.
“Advocacy includes both written and oral advocacy before the higher courts arbitrations and tribunals. The award shall be an independent indication of excellence in the legal profession. It is to provide a public identification of advocates whose standing and achievement would justify an expectation on the part of clients, the judiciary and the public that they can provide outstanding services as advocates and advisers in the overall best interest of administration of justice.”
Among the successful applicants are Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adetola Kazeem; National Coordinator, Legal Defence Assistance Project (LEDAP), Mr. Chinonye Obiagwu, and Nigerian Law School Director-General, Prof. Isa Chiroma.
While 20 applicants out of 124 received the rank in 2015, 22 SANs were appointed in 2016 out of 50 applicants. The number shot up to 29 last year from 91 applicants, peaking at 31 this year from 106 applicants. 64 applicants were initially shortlisted for the rank.
The full list of SANs-designate include:
OBA MADUABUCHI ESQ.
ESSIEN ESSIEN UDOM ESQ.
PROF OLUYEMISI ADEFUNKE BAMGBOSE.
METONG BERTRAM ROBERT UROMBO ESQ.
PROF. WAHAB OLASUPO EGBEWOLE.
GEORGE CHIEDU IGBOKWE ESQ.
OLUBOWALE TAIWO ESQ.
OLUWOLE OSAMUDIANIE IYAMU ESQ.
ADEKOLA ADEYEYE OLAWOYE.
STEPHEN OJOMEKO ZAKARI ADEHI ESQ.
OLUSEUN TAKINTAYO AKINBIYI ESQ.
EMMANUEL OZOEMENAM ACHUKWU ESQ.
KENNETH CHUKWUEMEKA AHIA ESQ.
LOUIS MADUFORO ALOZIE ESQ.
PROF. ISA HAYATU CHIROMA
PROF. OLANREWAJU ADIGUN FAGBOHUN
ADEYINKA PATRICK OLUMIDE-FUSIKA ESQ.
JOHNSON OLALEKAN OJO ESQ.
WOLE SEUN AGUNBIADE ESQ.
OLAYODE OLUMIDE DELANO ESQ.
TANIMU MUHAMMED INUWA ESQ.
SONNY OLUCHUKWU WOGU ESQ.
PROF. OFFORINZE DIKE AMUCHEAZI.
ADEWALE EYITEMI ATAKE ESQ.
IKHIDE EHIGHELUA ESQ.
MOSEDIQ ADENIJI KAZEEM ESQ.
EDMUND CHINONYE OBIAGWU ESQ.
PROF. MUHAMMED MUSTAPHA AKANBI
COSMAS IKECHUKWU ENWELUZO ESQ.
ISHAKA DIKKO MUDI ESQ.
OLABODE OLUTOYIN OLANIPEKUN ESQ.