Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday added his voice to calls seeking that lawyers with cognate legislative experience should also be considered for the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
This is just as he charged legislative lawyers to be effective and distinguish themselves in the art of lawmaking so as to show themselves worthy of the title.
In a press statement issued by his spokesman Mr Turaki Hassan, Dogara made this known when he received the dean and members of the Legislative Lawyers Association of Nigeria in his office .
“I know that with the array of professionals we have, the distinguished senator has been making a case for those in this profession to be awarded the highest honour of the profession, which is senior advocate and in most cases, I have said he is absolutely right.
“If those that are teaching the laws we made are judged worthy to be awarded with that title, and those who advocate these laws can get this title, what of the lawmakers?”
He stressed that his call should not be misinterpreted to mean that all legislative lawyers should be considered for the title, as only those who have clearly distinguished themselves in the art of law making could be deemed fit for the honour.
“We are not saying all lawmakers should get them and I guess that is true whether in advocacy because not all advocates are senior advocates. It is not all academicians that are senior advocates, but those who have distinguished themselves.
“And if they can find a lawyer that that is plying his trade in this arena that has distinguished himself in the art of lawmaking, I guess it is not out of place for him to be so rewarded, so identified and rewarded. So to this argument I concur 100 percent, though others will find it laugable.”
The speaker also charged the group to deepen their knowledge and practice of the profession through trainings and like events.
“There are rooms for development of law. Not just only laws that are contained in the statute books but in our jurisprudence we have places for what is known as judicial precedence, which is judgement law. That is the laws judges make in the process of interpreting the law and then resolve to allow the law to be as dynamic as the society is so that the law can catch up with the evolving social issues in the society.
“And the truth is that so long as you do not have people committed, who have developed themselves as professionals in this field, you will certainly find gaps.
“Right now, we run abroad when it comes to training but if had a pool of professionals who should develop this training in Nigeria, before long, we will be invited by sister African countries to go and talk to their parliamentarians or lawyers in their parliaments in those countries by providing support services to help their legislators perform their work effectively.”
Earlier, the Dean of the association and senior special adviser on National Assembly Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Ita Enang who is a former member of the House of Representatives and former senator, and a member of the legal profession, informed the speaker that the registration and incorporation of the association ahd been completed.
He noted that with the process completed, the Legislative Lawyers Association of Nigeria can now be recognised as the statutory legally recognised arms of legal practice.
While presenting the certificate of incorporation of the speaker who is the president of the association, he disclosed that the secretariat is now open to members who are lawyers to register and show interest in legislative pracctice.