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Published On: Tue, Dec 15th, 2020

New legal year: Supreme court swears in 72 SANs

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…had a total of 908 cases

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Supreme Court, yesterday, conferred the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on 72 legal practitioners.
It was also revealed that the apex court in the 2019/2020 legal year had a total of 908 cases, which comprises of motions and appeals.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) Mohammad Ibrahim Tanko, was represented by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vuvour in the conferment as part of activities marking the commencement of the 2020/21 new legal year.
Justice Rhodes-Vivour, alongside other 16 Justices of the Apex court noted that the new SANs emerged successful from a total of 172 earlier shortlisted.
Speaking at the event, the he urged them to be more committed to their work and the legal profession, an attitude he said earned them the rank in the first place.
He appealed to lawyers, particularly the young ones to always observe all court rules and not mislead their clients for pecuniary gains.
“Apart from the mode of dressing which I have occasionally complained about, the conduct of some of them within and outside the courtrooms call for serious concern.
” Some have turned the court premises to press interview centres where they cast all manner of aspersions on judicial officers, especially when judgments do not favour them.
“Henceforth, severe sanctions will be meted out on them, therefore, they should always show the ability and capacity to counsel clients well.”
Further in his speech, he said that obedience of lawful court orders has no alternative in any society.
“We must respect and observe all the tenets of an enduring democracy. Nigeria is not a lawless society and no one, irrespective of his or her status, should turn it to one.
” Most times, some persons, who by sheer stroke of providence find themselves in positions of authority, flagrantly disobey lawful court orders, and even boast about it.
“Such acts will henceforth no be condoned. In fact, they will be met with severe consequences and we must therefore extinguish such raging fire before it consumes us all”.
He therefore, warned them that ‘‘the Correctional Centres are not there for decoration, such literally incorrigible and obstinate elements in our mist must be tutored in those centres to deter the several others eagerly waiting in the to embark on such inglorious expedition.
” The court will not only bark but will bite harder and deeper too.’’
On the 2019/2029 legal year, the CJN also added that the apex court had in the year under review, had a total of 908 cases, comprising of motions and appeals.
“Out of the number, we heard 497 civil, 168 criminal and 35 political matters, thus amounting to a total of 700 motions.
” The court also considered a total number of 208 appeals, being 134 civil, 52 criminal and 22 political appeals and also, a total of 189 judgments were given within the legal year under review.’’
Concluding, he also noted the apex court disposed of 52 corruption and financial crime cases, the court of appeal, 121 cases, Federal High Court, 19, FCT High Court 10 cases and all state High Courts, 188 cases.
Among the new SANs are the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasonye and Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpo.

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