COVID-19 takes shine off call to bar ceremony
Deprived of the usual pageantry, the Body of Benchers last week admitted a total of 1,785 candidates into the Nigerian Bar, having passed the January 2020 Bar final examinations conducted by the Nigerian Law School under the supervision of the Council of Legal Education (CLE).
Usually, the new wigs attend the call to Bar ceremony with their families in an elaborate and colourful display of solidarity, but those could not happen due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the need to observe all safety protocols.
Also, the event, which normally holds at the International Conference Centre instead held at the Eagle Square, Abuja to allow for social distancing. For many of the lawyers and observers, all those took away the fun and made the event less enjoyable.
Reacting to the development, Mr. Niyi Oginni, one of the new wigs, said COVID-19 took away the fun, which the event is noted for and expressed joy that he was among the successful candidates at the Bar final examination.
Speaking at the Call to Bar ceremony, the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu (SAN) said 1, 779 candidates passed the January 2020 Bar final examinations, while six candidates were from previous Bar final examinations. According to Hayatu, a total of 2, 515 students participated at the examinations and a total of 1, 779 were successful, out of which five candidates were graded in first class, 76 graded in the second class upper, 633 graduated with second class lower, while 1, 065 came out with a pass in the Bar final examinations.
He said the candidates successfully completed the vocational training at the Nigerian Law School as prescribed by the Legal Education Act and had also taken the prescribed examinations and the dining terms and met all other required conditions set by the CLE. “I am happy to affirm that they all exhibited good manners and decorum during their training.
They have also been groomed in the best ethics and ethos of our noble profession”, he said. Hayatu, who congratulated the “new wigs” for their hard work, dedication and steadfastness, disclosed that he closely monitored the aspirants during their training and vouched for each and every one of them as men and women of learning and character as demanded by the Council of Legal Education.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, O. C Okocha (SAN) said since the inception in 1962, the Council of Legal Education, through the Nigerian Law School has continued to ensure that all candidates for admission into the legal profession in Nigeria are equipped with requisite knowledge and skill to enable them practice as legal practitioners. He charged the new lawyers to be of good character and uphold honesty and integrity, which is the hallmark of the legal profession.