Foremost civic society organisation on anti-corruption and transparency in governance, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has commended the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, OON, SAN for boycotting the recent Bar ceremony over the refusal of the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, CFR, SAN from presiding over the ceremony on moral and ethical ground.
The Civil group in a letter signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, titled ‘Solidarity with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Boycott of the Call to Bar Ceremony’, described Mr Yakubu Maikyau’s action as standing for the truth and defending the professional integrity of the association, therefore raised concerns over the legal profession’s gradually loss of respect and prestige for which it was renowned over the years.
In the letter addressed to the NBA President, HEDA argues that, “We cannot agree any less with you that the legal profession is gradually losing its respect and prestige earned over the years. Incidentally, respectable legal icons have worked and some are still working very hard to instil the ethical standards the profession is known for and it will be very unfortunate to lose all that pedigree and sacrifices on the altar of reckless misconduct and favouritism.
It reads further: “It is noteworthy that the current stance of the NBA against the alleged immoral and unethical conduct associated with the firm of the Chairman, Body of Benchers, goes with some backlash and criticism from the so called high and mighty in the legal profession and the society.’
HEDA Resource Centre however encouraged the legal body and its president not to relent but continue pushing to uphold the professional and ethical integrity the legal profession has always been known for.
The civil group also revealed its willingness to assist the Nigerian Bar Association in whatever capacity, noting that group recognize and hold unto the belief that until the legal profession is morally and ethically upright; rule of law, justice and fairness cannot be completely upheld.