President Muhammadu Buhari has given reasons why he conferred the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) on respected Bar Leader and Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN, OFR).

In an “Instrument of Conferment of National Honour” sighted by CITY LAWYER, Buhari stated that the honour was bestowed on the leading litigator “in recognition of your outstanding virtues and in appreciation of your services to our country, Nigeria.”

The honour coincides with the 20 years anniversary of Ngige’s conferment with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Meanwhile, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) and Peter Ebere Cardinal Okpareke are among several bodies and individuals who have commended Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN, OFR) on the award of national honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Congratulating Ngige among other members who received national honours, BOSAN wrote: “The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) felicitates its eminent members on being conferred with the National Honour by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.”

On his part, Cardinal Okpareke, who is the Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese of the Catholic Church, stated that “This is a recognition, at the national level, of your contribution to humanity and to Nigeria in a special way.”

Okpareke, who was recently ordained a Cardinal by Pope Francis, stated that “You have contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria both in your professional career as a lawyer and in your administration of the Council of Legal Education,” adding that “Our prayer is that God who has sustained you and given success to your labors (Ps 90(89):17) will continue to bless you and inspire many more people to take after your example of service to humanity.”

Meanwhile, a group called “Friends of Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN” and comprising about 200 signatories 145 of whom are Senior Advocates of Nigeria, also felicitated with Ngige on the award. The group also donated sundry medical equipment worth millions of naira to support Ngige’s pet project targeted at revamping the moribund infrastructure at the Nigerian Law School.

Others who also commended Ngige on the award include the Council of Legal Education (CLE); Class of 1985 of the Nigerian Law School which is chaired by Ngige; Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC); Otu Oka Iwu (Law Society); Dominican University, Ibadan; former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; Mr. Samuel Zibiri, SAN; Mr. Rotimi Oguneso, SAN and Alor Dinma Initiative (ADI), to name a few.

More encomiums were poured on the respected Bar Leader and member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) at a post-investiture reception which held at Gwarinpa, Abuja. The event was attended by many dignitaries especially judges of the Federal High Court, members and top management of the Council of Legal Education/Nigerian Law School, as well as senior lawyers and government officials.

Among those who attended the reception were former Transport Minister, Chief Chibuike Amaechi; the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu; Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Garba Shehu; Director-General of Nigerian Law School, Dr. Isa Hayatu Chiroma SAN; Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN; Chief (Mrs.) Victoria Awomolo, SAN; Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN; Mr. Emeka Obegola SAN; former Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, Mr. Chijioke Okoli SAN and his successor-in-office, Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom SAN.

Others are HRM Igwe Ebubechukwuzo Collins Chukwumesili, the traditional ruler of Alor; Prof. Samuel Alege, Chairman of Governing Council of Nnamdi Azikiwe University; Mr. Chinedu Akubueze, Clerk of the Senate; Mr. Ahmed Al-mustapha, former Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as well as members of the 1985 Nigerian Law School set and 1984 University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC) Law Class.

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