By A’isha Biola Raji
The Secretariat of the Body of benchers, a body statutorily responsible for call to the Bar of candidates desiring to become legal practitioners in Nigeria, has been requested for waiver and general review of the results released by the Council of Legal Education, on the grounds that “there was a mass failure in the 2013/14 Bar final examination.
In a statement, signed by Chief T. J. Onomigbo Okpoko, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Chairman, Body of Benchers, the Body of Benchers advised all those writing to it and all members of the public that it does not conduct the Bar examinations, as that is the responsibility of the Council of Legal Education.
According to the statement, the legal responsibility of the Body of Benchers is to admit and call to the Bar, applicants who have passed the Bar examination and are adjudged by Honourable Benchers, after due screening to be “fit and proper persons to be called to the Bar”. “It does not call to the Bar students of the Law School who are referred and who failed in their Bar’s final examination.
“The lawyers we produce from our law school must attain the standard of pass prescribed by the law school authorities. It is not for the Body of Benchers or indeed anyone to interfere in any manner with the results released by the Council of Legal Education,” the statement read.
The Benchers also called on Nigerians to learn to play by the rules always and accept what the rules of the Council of Legal Education dictate.