A total of 24 students graduated with First Class honors from the 4,225 candidates called to the Nigerian Bar on Tuesday, making it the highest number since the Nigerian Law School was established.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Mr. Olanrewaju Onadeko (SAN), who gave a breakdown of the figures, said after the August/September 2016 Bar final examinations of the school, 24 candidates attained the First Class grade, while 567 candidates obtained the Second Class Upper Division.
Mr. Olanrewaju Onadeko (SAN), while presenting the new lawyers to the Body of Benchers, decried what he termed the “continuing challenge of violation of admission quotas” by some faculties of law in the country.
Onadeko noted that the allocated figures to law faculties were a product of evaluation of available resources that could cater for the academic needs of the students.
In his address, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, who performed his first official call-to-bar ceremony in Abuja, admonished the newly admitted lawyers to the Nigerian Bar to perform their role with integrity and competence.
Justice Onnoghen also urged them to put the interest of their clients and the larger society into consideration while discharging their duties.
The Acting CJN, cautioned the new lawyers that the Body of Benchers would not hesitate to sanction any erring legal practitioner.
While reminding them of the rules of professional conduct, Justice Onnoghen charged the lawyers to shun any act that would bring the profession into disrepute.
“As ministers in the temple of justice, it is never enough to solely protect the interest of your client. You must strive to attain justice above all and not derail its course even if it may not favour your client. You must avoid sharp practices.
“The role of lawyers is multi-faceted; it cuts across virtually every stratum of the society. In all these, you are expected to maintain the highest professional standard of integrity and competence at all times. This should be your watch word.”