Senators and members of the House of Representatives who are lawyers have intensified their quest to be automatically conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the countries highest legal classification.
Speaking at the inaugural sitting of “The Forum of Lawyers in the Nigerian Legislature,” which was held at the National Assembly in Abuja, the lawyers gave reasons why they were more than qualified to be SANs.
Convener of the group, Senator Ita Enang, who was once the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business said: He said, “It is an insult not to make legislature lawyers SANs.
“They make the laws that the magistrate interprets and makes his way to the Supreme Court, yet you say that a lawmaker is not qualified to be honoured with the rank of SAN.
“The legislator is not qualified but the lawyer who practises the law passed by the legislature is qualified.
“Legislative practice is an arm of legal practice and should be recognised as such.
“It is the legislature and the legislator that know the laws more than the practitioners because they draft the laws.
“All the laws that practitioners practise and they are celebrated and honoured are passed by the legislature, but you say that same legislator is not qualified to be a SAN.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is also a lawyer, Yakubu Dogara said the aim of the forum was to promote the productivity of lawyers in the legislature through capacity-building programmes.
Dogara, was represented by another member and lawyer from Abia State, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.
He said: “The association is to promote cooperation, networking and interaction among its members, and to develop legislative practice as an enviable area of legal practice in Nigeria.”
The speaker said having been informed that there were about 200 lawyers at the National Assembly, he was convinced that the forum should transit “to a well established association.”