Senators, House of Representatives members and members of other legislative houses in the country who are lawyers, are demanding to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
According to The PUNCH, they claimed that they worked harder than judicial officers, and also argued that regular lawyers and other legal practitioners were not better qualified for the rank than them.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting of “The Forum of Lawyers in the Nigerian Legislature”, held at the National Assembly in Abuja, convener of the forum, Senator Ita Enang, said,
”It is an insult not to make legislature lawyers SANs.
They make 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, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, who is a lawyer, was represented by another member and lawyer from Abia State, Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.
He said, “The association is to promote cooperation, networking and interaction among its members.
“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.”