On Friday, June 17, 2022, the Learned Silk, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN was privileged to participate in the ELLAN (Employment and labour Lawyers Association of Nigeria) Presidential exchange.

The Learned Silk passionately answered the questions thrown to him during the debate which were tailored towards the wellbeing of lawyers – an area he remains passionate about.

On sexual harassment, he stated that young lawyers should always speak up and have adequate evidence backing up any allegation. Thereafter, he assured young lawyers that adequate protection will be given to them. Furthermore, he stated that strict punishment such as disbarment will be imposed on the culprits as such an act tarnishes the image of our noble profession. The Learned Silk re-emphasized that he will make sure that such acts are unheard of in the legal profession.

The Learned Silk, during the debate, stated that he believes that in the making of silk, what should be highlighted is whether the applicant has met all the requirements. If the applicant has met all the requirements, he should thus be made Silk. He concluded by advocating that all who have met the criteria should be made Silk, no matter the number.

The Learned Silk when asked a question on the amendment of the RPC stated that he is of the view that the rules should be amended as there were many challenges which were not addressed by the RPC such as the empowerment of lawyers to enable them earn a living outside the normal confinement of the legal profession. He opined that this is inconsistent with the mandate of the NBA which allows the NBA to create wealth and empower members within the parameters of the law.

The Learned Silk during the debate reiterated the well-known fact that the protection of lawyers from the abuse of law enforcement agencies is his priority.

On the question of how the renumeration of lawyers can be improved, the learned Silk stated that the young lawyers do a lot of work in law firms and are talented but they are not adequately appreciated. He stated that the time has come for them to be adequately appreciated by sufficient remuneration.

Furthermore he stated that a minimum pay should be stipulated for the profession.

In his closing remarks, Learned Silk stated that the other two candidates and presidential aspirants are qualified to be the next NBA President but he is the first among equals – the primus inter pares, the right person to lead the bar. He mentioned that this is due to the fact that the bar needs a person who is courageous, fearless and who will adequately fight for the independence of the Bar and the Judiciary.

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