The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON SAN, on the 28th day of December, 2016 constituted the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee comprising of Anthony Idigbe, SAN (the Chairman); Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN; Mrs. Funke Adekoya, SAN; Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN; Mr. Paul Usoro SAN; Mrs. Bisi Shoyebo, SAN; Chief Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN; Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN; Prof. Dakas C. J. Dakas, SAN; Prof. Ernest Ojukwu, SAN; Mr. Olanrewaju Onadeko, SAN; Dr. Mike Adeleke; Prof. Auwalu Yadudu; Patricia Igwebuike Orji Esq ; Prof. M. L. Ahmadu; Prof. Augustine Agom ; Mr. Rotimi Odusola; Prof. Osita Ogbu; Mrs. Sade Aladeniyi ;Prof. Ikpeze Ogugua; Dr. Aminu Gamawa (the Secretary);Prof. U.U.Chukwuema-Eze; and Mr. Eric Otojahi (the Assistant Secretary) with Mrs. Sarah Omega Ajijola representing the NBA National Secretariat on the Committee.
The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Committee are as follows:
1. To review the current regulatory objectives and the regulatory architecture of the legal profession and advise on its suitability to meet the current requirements for a robust, responsive and independent modern legal profession in Nigeria;
2. To determine on whether the Nigerian Bar Association should retain both its regulatory and representative functions in the legal profession and if so, what necessary measures should be put in place to strengthen these roles and ensure that neither is compromised;
3. In particular, to review the role of the Body of Benchers, the General Council of the Bar, the Council for Legal Education, the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Nigerian Bar Association in the regulation of the legal profession and determine if the roles being played by these institutions and organs are appropriate to meet the needs of a robust and modern and independent legal profession in Nigeria;
4. To determine for instance, given the current composition of the Body of Benchers, if its role should not be formal and ceremonial limited to formal call to bar and formal disbarment of members of the legal profession, whilst ceding the more rigorous duty of regulation to the more appropriate organs either of the NBA or the General Council of the Bar or any desirable agency;
5. To obtain the proposed bills for review of the Legal Practitioners Act pending at the National Assembly and review same in the light of the recommendations arising from the work of the committee envisaged in these TOR;
6. To review the current standards for admission into the Nigerian Bar and recommend changes. In particular determine whether the current threshold of 40% as pass mark for bar examinations at the Nigerian Law School is realistic and determine how such thresholds compare with entry requirements into the legal professions across Africa and the rest of the world and make appropriate recommendations;
7. To examine given the current size of the legal profession, its exponential growth in recent years relative to the needs of the Nigerian economy, the desirability of candidates seeking admission to the law faculties in Nigeria to possess a degree in another discipline as a condition for admission.
8. To review the ethical requirements for admission into the legal profession and determine the adequacy of such requirements and how best to maintain high ethical and professional standards in the legal profession.
9. To determine if aside from admission to the bar there should be a separate requirement for licensing law offices and advise how best to regulate and monitor such licensing.
10. To advise on the need to introduce a system of pupilage into the legal profession and advise on the duration and how best to administer such a system of pupilage.
11. To make any appropriate recommendations the Committee deems necessary or to achieve the objective of strengthening the legal profession in Nigeria.
12. To submit its report on or before the 30th day of April, 2017
In view of the above TOR, the Committee has unanimously agreed that memoranda be submitted by the legal community and the entire public and hereby invites the legal community and the entire public to submit memoranda for consideration by the Committee on how best to strengthen the Legal Profession in Nigeria to meet best international practice.
The memoranda are to be submitted to:
NBA LEGAL PROFESSION REGULATION REVIEW COMMITTEE
C/O MRS. SARAH AJIJOLA
NBA NATIONAL SECRETARIAT
PLOT 1101, MUHAMMODU BUHARI WAY
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT
ABUJA. or vide e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; and email@example.com on or before Friday 30th January, 2017.
Kindly accept the assurances of my highest regards.
Dr. Aminu Gamawa
The Secretary, NBA Legal Profession Regulation Review Committee