Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President has called for consensus among legal practitioners on the preservation of the legal practice in Nigeria to enhance the profession and national development.
Osinbajo made the call while delivering the closing address at the maiden dinner of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, held in Lagos.
He said that the elite in every community, whether ethnic, religious or professionals, owe it a duty to ensure the preservation of such community.
Osinbajo said it was important for the legal community to define the ethics, vogues, acceptable conducts and those that would not be tolerated in the community
The Vice President said that the Senior Advocates must provide guidance to the legal community so as to maintain the integrity and prestige of the profession and sustain the confidence of the public.
Osinbajo said: “A professional elite such as ourselves, we owe a responsibility to ensure that we act professionally with honour and integrity; first, for the selfish reason that it confers on us natural respect and prestige.
“Ultimately, the difference between the elite or professional, and those who destroy the patrimony, is the extent to which the elites are willing to make sacrifices and constrain that selfishness which is common with humans.
“An elite is one who agrees to sacrifice individual greed, ambition and quest for power for the overall good of all.
“It is the responsibility of the elites to act with honour, integrity and sometime with quietness,”
He noted that in Britain, the elites have maintained the prestige and integrity of the British legal system, adding that Nigerian lawyers should emulate such good conduct.
According to him, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria must reach a consensus to that the Legal profession does not perish.
The Vice President congratulated the 29 newly conferred Senior Advocates of Nigeria, urging them to be honourable flag bearers of the legal profession.
Speaking with newsmen after the dinner, Osinbajo reiterated the call for a consensus from lawyers to enhance the justice process and preserve judicial integrity.
According to NAN, the dinner was attended by former Nigeria Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr Christopher Kolade and the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mrs Folake Solanke.
The rest included Chief Wole Olanipekun, Dr Paul Usoro and Chief Felix Fagbohungbe among others.