NBA Assures Lawyers Of Speedy Collection Of Stamp & Seal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NBA Assures Lawyers Of Speedy Collection Of Stamp & Seal

Posted: Aug 6, 2015 at 12:40 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• As Senior Lawyers decry Project

By Adam Adedimeji,  LAGOS


The Nigerian Bar Association has assured Senior Advocates of Nigeria and all lawyers that the Association is committed to ensuring that all Nigerian lawyers get their stamps and seals within 48 hours of paying for them.

In a letter to the NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN, Chairman of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Richard Akinjide SAN advocated for the temporal suspension of issuance of stamps and seals, citing reasons of delay in collection of the stamps by lawyers who had paid for months.

Chief Akinjide also noted that adequate arrangements appear not to have been put in place before the commencement of the scheme.

But in swift reaction, NBA President Mr. Alegeh said the scheme was initiated to route out fake lawyers and touts from the legal profession.

Alegeh pointed out that so far, the process has caught many ‘fake lawyers’ who had applied for the stamps and seal and whose names were not found and could not be verified by the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the NBA Database, creating the need for the NBA to cautious in the issuance of the stamps.

He said ‘so far we have received so many applications for the stamps from so-called lawyers who are neither on the Supreme Court of Nigeria Roll nor the NBA Database, and even the branches they claimed to belong to couldn’t verify them.

‘If we issue stamps to such suspicious persons, the profession would be danger and that would make nonsense of our ongoing efforts to eliminate fakes and quacks from our noble profession.

My assurance therefore to all Nigerian lawyers is that once you pay your Bar Practicing fees and your name and Call to Bar Number is verified from the Supreme Court Roll, you will be issued with stamp and seal within a maximum of 48 hours.

‘The NBA has further put in place a smooth machinery to ensure that lawyers who haven’t completed the process so far will do so at the forthcoming Annual General Conference in Abuja and their stamps and seals will be issued to them right there, once they are verified.

In a letter to Chief Akinjide SAN, Alegeh cited Rule 10 (1- 2) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007 which empowers the NBA to issue the stamps and seals and ensure compliance accordingly.

He said ‘Learned Silk, Please find attached a copy of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007. I trust that you will circulate it to all our respected Senior Advocates of Nigeria and draw attention specifically to Rule 10.

‘The time for production of stamps is a maximum of 48 hours from receipt of the request at the NBA National Secretariat, Abuja and we have discovered several “fake lawyers” in the course of implementing the stamp policy.

‘Kindly extend my warm greetings to all members of the Inner Bar whom we trust would support efforts by the NBA to implement provisions of our existing rules of Professional conduct and improve standards at the Bar.’

Section 10 (1-2) of the Rules provides  thus ‘(1) A lawyer acting in his capacity as a legal practitioner,  legal officer or adviser of any Government  department or ministry  or any corporation,  shall not sign or file a legal document  unless there  is affixed on any such document  a seal and stamp approved by the Nigerian Bar Association.

‘(2) For the  purpose  of this  rule,  “legal documents”  shall  include  pleadings, affidavits,  depositions,  applications,  instruments,  agreements,  deeds,  letters, memoranda, reports, legal opinions or any similar documents.

The NBA President further stated that the NBA would soon publish the “Annual Practicing List” pursuant to Rule 12 of RPC and the resolution of Sokoto NEC of June, 2015. He advised all Lawyers who have not paid their annual bar practicing fees to do so immediately.

Our investigations revealed that the NBA has since 2010 filed a caveat at the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja against the registration of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and that the body remains unregistered.