From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Supreme Court has barred family members and other well-wishers from the courtroom of the inauguration of the 72 lawyers recently elevated to the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) fixed for December 14.
This was contained in a statement by the Director, Press and Information, Supreme Court, Dr Festus Akande.
In the statement on Monday, Dr Akande stated that the directive was to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
The statement said the inauguration of the new SANs to be presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, would be part of the events marking the official commencement of the new 2020/2021 legal year of the apex court.
He stated that the CJN would also, at the event, give his report of the state of the judiciary and present the scorecard of the Supreme Court in the outgone legal year.
Akande added that the number of dignitaries and other stakeholders who would be admitted into the venue would also be limited.
He stated, however, that the court’s foyer would be available for those who would be barred from entering the venue, adding that interested members of the public would be able to monitor the events live on various media platforms
The statement read, in part:
‘In strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol, spouses and friends of the 72 newly appointed Senior Advocates will not be allowed into the Courtroom as was done in the past. Similarly, the number of dignitaries and other stakeholders will equally be limited as a crowd will not be allowed inside the Courtroom.
‘The court’s foyer will be handy to accommodate those who will not be admitted into the Courtroom, as the programme will be streamed live on the giant TV screens that are placed in strategic positions within the Court premises.
‘For those that will be in their respective homes and offices, they can as well watch the various programmes live on YouTube, Twitters, Instagram, Facebook, Zoom and other social media platforms, as we are ever poised to make everyone have a feel of every single event.
‘The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria will, as usual, give the state of the judiciary address and also present the scorecard of the Supreme Court in the outgone legal year, while keeping the nation abreast of the developments in the Nigerian judiciary.’
The list of 72 successful candidates comprising 62 advocates and 10 in the academics category was signed on behalf of the LPPC secretary by Akande.
The successful candidates include the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences Commission, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, in the academics category.
Also on the list are two former General Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association, Isiaka Olagunju, and Afam Osigwe.
It also contained the name of a lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Tijjani Gazali, a former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Babatunde Ogala, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo (academics).
The statement by Akande said the LPPC elevated the successful candidates at its 143rd meeting held on November 13.