The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has charged 4,283 new lawyers called to the Bar yesterday to be honest with their clients when advising them on their chances of winning a case.
Onnoghen, who spoke yesterday at the official call to Bar ceremony of the new wigs, also advised them to always consider alternative dispute resolution processes whenever legal redress is not in the best interest of their clients or the society at large.
The CJN, who decried that sincerity to clients “is gradually becoming a lost skill which must be revived in the best interest of those seeking succour in the law, said: “When you realise that pursuing a case in court is not in the best interest of your client, or the society at large, you must resort to other alternatives to dispute resolution because the ultimate goal is to reach a just conclusion of the matter.”
Of the 4,283 candidates that were called to the Nigerian Bar, 29 made First Class honours, 211 made Second Class Upper Division, 1,046 made Second Class Lower and 2,997 made a Pass in the final Bar examination conducted earlier in the year.
While congratulating them for their efforts, the CJN urged the new wigs to imbibe principles of integrity and diligence if they must succeed as lawyers.“In the course of your practice, you are expected to promote the course of justice and rule of law.
“You are expected to be at the forefront in the campaign for justice, equity and fairness. Your level of proficiency is of immense significance to the efficiency of the justice system of our country.
“I urge you to acquaint yourselves with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and all other relevant laws as far as administering justice is concerned.
According to him, the Body of Benchers has resolved to set out the modalities for a successful take-off of a mandatory pupilage and mentoring scheme.In his remarks, the Director-General, Nigerian Law School, Olarenwaju A. Onadeko, commended the 29 students that emerged with First Class honours, noting that it was the highest number ever attained by the school.Onadeko, however, called for strict adherence to allocated student numbers by law faculties.
He said: “The allocated figures are emperically determined and failure to keep to them, will impact negatively on the products of the offending faculties.