The Chairman, Body of Benchers, Justice Mary Peter Odili has charged the newly called to bar lawyers in Nigeria to use the law profession as a sword to fight all forms of injustices in the country so as to make it more peaceful and habitable.
Justice Odili specifically asked the new wigs to fight for what is right and for the downtrodden Nigerians who cannot fend for their own rights.
At a call to bar ceremony for a batch of 1,097 new legal practitioners, the former Supreme Court Justice said that as lawyers, they are uniquely positioned to provide not just random acts of service but world-changing, life-changing and view-shapping service.
“As lawyers, you have the capacity to change the world whether you go into private practice, government service, to put up a business or whatever your heart leads you to do.
” Your law degrees and call to bar certificates are not just pieces of documents you will hang on your wall or boast with to others. These are credentials that you can wield as your sword to fight against injustice.
“They are shields that you can raise up to protect the innocent and uphold the rule of law. As lawyers, you have the capacity to change the world for the better.
“Wherever you decide to apply your talent as a lawyer, you will be required to act with utmost professionalism and wisdom as your legal advice, your professional actions and even, your inactions affect the lives of your clients and the society at large.
“In your service as a legal practitioner, you must not forget to put into practice, the ethical and moral obligations of a lawyer that has been imbibed in you by being civil and ethical.
Justice Odili pleaded with them to uphold the rules of professional conduct for legal practitioners at all times adding that the Body of Benchers has power to admit lawyers and equally, the its body, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee LPDC has power to derobe any lawyer found wanting on ethical standard.
She challenged the new lawyers to always seek the counsel of experienced senior colleagues whenever they are faced with any challenge or difficulty.
“Having mentor will greatly assist you in molding your career and position you effectively to help in maintaining confidence input justice delivery system.
She cautioned them against the negative use of social media as it could bring them and the legal profession into disrepute.
Justice Odili thanked the Secretary of the Body of Benchers, Barrister Daniel Manasseh Tela and his team for the success of the ceremony and for being up and doing at all times.
Earlier, the Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Professor Isa Hayatu Chiroma had said that the new lawyers were found worthy in academic performance, moral and ethical standard, hence, their presentation to the Body of Benchers for call to bar and inauguration as legal pratictioners.
The occasion was attended by the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, Wole Olanipekun SAN, Adegboyega Awomolo SAN and Professor Mike Ozekhome SAN among others.