President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) on the Chairman of Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN).

Ngige, a foremost Bar Leader, was among the honorees who were bestowed with national honours yesterday by President Buhari at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

In a letter dated 19th September, 2022, the Minister of Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume informed Ngige that “I have the honour to formally inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the conferment of the National Honours on you, in the rank of OFR (Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic).”

Ngige is reputed to have had a stellar professional career which remains a benchmark for many lawyers. He was among the pioneer prosecutors engaged by the Federal Government to prosecute matters at the Failed Banks Tribunal (FBT) established in 1994. The Tribunals were set up to curb rising cases of malfeasance and corrupt practices in the banking industry. He secured convictions against many of the accused persons that he prosecuted.

He was also in the team of lawyers engaged by the Federal Government to defend various cases challenging the recovery of the ‘Abacha loot’ at various courts in Nigeria. The legal team was able to secure reversal of various orders and judgments obtained by the claimants which had impeded the recovery of the loot overseas.

For his contributions to the development of Nigeria’s jurisprudence, Ngige was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) in August 2002.

He was in 2019 appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Chairman of Council of Legal Education (CLE), a body charged with the responsibility of regulating legal education in Nigeria and overseeing the management of the elite Nigerian Law School. His tenure has witnessed significant changes in the infrastructural development of the school in all the six campuses across the country, and relying mainly on support and funding from the private sector, State Governments, MDAs and the alumni classes in line with recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye Committee. His tenure has also witnessed the construction by the Rivers State Government of the state-of-the-art Port Harcourt Campus of the Nigerian Law School, acclaimed as the best centre for legal education in Africa.

Ngige is a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), a body charged with the responsibility of bestowing the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on aspirants who have achieved distinction in the legal profession. He is also a member of the Body of Benchers, a body of legal practitioners with the highest distinction. Until May this year, Ngige was a Non-Executive Director at Air Peace Limited, one of Africa’s leading airlines.

Ngige has held many positions in the Nigerian Bar Association and Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), including being a representative of NBA at the Body of Benchers (BoB). He was elected Publicity Secretary (1995-1996) and Secretary (1996-1998) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch. From1991 to 2016, he served as a co-opted member of the NBA National Executive Committee (NEC). He was in 1990 appointed a Notary Public by then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Bello. He holds the chieftaincy title of Ikemba N’Alor.

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