A total of 72 Nigerian lawyers have been elevated to the position of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The number is the highest ever recorded in Nigeria’s history.
The development was confirmed by Dr. Festus Akande, a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, LPPC, which conferred the honour on the 72 Nigerian lawyers at its 143rd meeting held on Friday.
The committee had in September shortlisted a total of 137 candidates; both at advocate filtration stages and academic pre-qualification exercise, for the conferment of the coveted SAN rank.
The 72 Nigerian lawyers who emerged successful, comprised of 62 advocates and 10 in the academia.
The new SANs are scheduled to be sworn in on Monday, December 14, 2020.
The Supreme Court committee meets annually to promote lawyers to the highly-coveted rank which often confers special privileges on holders, including prioritized call of their cases.
Akande said: ‘‘The rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria is awarded as a mark of excellence to members of the legal profession who have distinguished themselves as advocates and law academics.’’
Hajo Sarki, the acting Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and Secretary, LPPC; had earlier stated that, “All qualified candidates shortlisted are graded under the category system of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee Guidelines, 2018.’’
She announced that the general public was at liberty to comment on the integrity, reputation and competence of the candidates; adding that any complaint (s) presented to the committee must be accompanied with a verifying affidavit deposed to before a Court of Record in Nigeria.
The successful candidates include the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission; Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, in the academics’ category. Also on the list are two former General Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association, Isiaka Olagunju and Afam Osigwe.
In addition, a lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Tijjani Gazali; a former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Babatunde Ogala and a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo (academics) were also in the list.
Other successful candidates on the list of 72 Nigerian lawyers for 2020 are; Terruka Douglas Pepe, Aliyu Omeza Saiki, Jacob Enunwe Ochidi, Abdulwahab Mohammed, Moses Alfred Ebute and Taiye Abimbola Oladipo. Also listed are Mumuni Adebimpe Jimoh, Muhammadu Katu, Sani Ndanusa, Mohammed Mohammed Ndarani, Gideon Musa Kuttu, Abdullahi Yahaya, Mella Audu Nungh, Yusuf Nya Akirikwen, and Yakubu Abdullahi Hussaini-Ruba, among many others.