Akpata, Adegboruwa, 36 Others Appointed As SANS [FULL LIST]

Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Akpata, and Human Right Activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa have made the list of newly appointed Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANS).

The 38 lawyers were elevated by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee during its 138th session held during the new plenary session held on July 4.

Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court Hadizatu Mustapha made the announcement on Friday.

Mustapha said, out of the 117 lawyers that applied for the rank this year, 80 were shortlisted, out of which the final 38 emerged.

She said the 38 new SANs include two females, three from the academics and 35 advocates.

Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour who is the wife of Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court is one of the new female SANs.

The new Senior Advocates will be conferred with the honours at the resumption of the next legal year.


See full list of the new Senior Advocates below…



  • Adedoyin Oyinkan Rhodes-Vivour

  • Abdullahi Haruna

  • Manga Mohammed Nurudeen

  • Adedayo Toba Apata

  • John Onuegbulam Asoluka

  • Adedokun Matthew Makinde

  • Daniel Chwukwudi Enwelum

  • Emmanuel Adeyeye Oyebanji

  • Tuduru Uchendu Ede

  • Abdul Olajide Ajana

  • Ama Vemaark Etuwewe

  • Oladipo Adekorede Olasope

  • Leslie Arthur Olutayo Nylander

  • Olusegun Oyediran Fowowe

  • Andrew Essien Hutton

  • Olukayode Abayomi Enitan

  • Paul Harris Adkole Ogbole

  • Olaniyi Maruph Olopade

  • Samuel Ngozi Agweh

  • Olusegun Omoniyi Jolaawo

  • Professor Alphonsus Okoh Alubo

  • Ayo Asala

  • Abiodun Adediran Olatunji

  • Olumide Andrew Aju

  • Chimezie Victor Chikwem Ihekweazu

  • Professor Mamman Lawan

  • Professor Uchefula Ugonna Chuwumaeze

  • Usman Ogwu Sule

  • Safiya Umar Babamasi

  • Echezona Chukwudi Etiaba

  • Godwin Osemeahon Omoaka

  • Emeka Onyemaechi Ozoani

  • Alexander Chukwudi Ejesieme

  • Jephthah Chikodi Njikonye

  • Aikhunigbe Anthony Malik

  • Alhassan Akeje Umar

  • Oyetola Muyiwa Atoyebi


FCT Chief Judge Advises Judges To Stay Above Board

ishaq bello, FCT Chief JudgeThe Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello has called on judges and other judicial officers in the nation’s capital to live above board in the discharge of their duties.

He made the call at the beginning of the proceedings to usher in the 2016/2017 legal year of the Federal Capital Territory.

The ceremony saw him inspecting a guard of honour mounted by the Police before recognizing court officials who have distinguished themselves in the last judicial year

With the ceremony over, he headed to the ceremonial court for the first sitting of the year and the Chief Judge used the opportunity to speak on the events surrounding the judiciary in the last three weeks.

The Chief Judge commended the judicial officers in Abuja for their hard work, honesty and dedication to duty.

He stated that the judiciary is determined and capable of sanitizing itself with support of the relevant agencies but added that the support should be given within the ambit of the law.

Even when the FCT judiciary in the last one year had completed over 17,000 cases, the Chief Judge lamented the continued congestion of prisons especially by awaiting trial suspects.

He announced that measures are being put in place to reduce the number of inmates without a definite decision on their cases as a means of decongesting the prisons.

On the issue of corruption in the judiciary, the representative of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Adegboyega Awomolo, urged the judiciary as a whole to see the focus on it as an opportunity to introspect and cleanse itself of any dent.

He also called on those who claim to know the corrupt officers in the judiciary to name names.

On his part, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said that the federal government is committed to making Nigeria a country free of corruption and impunity.

He added, however, that this can only happen with a judiciary that is committed to speedy and quality dispensing of justice.

Majority of those present at the event agreed that the judiciary needs reform if it is to regain its pride of place in the hearts of Nigerians.

LEDAP Condemns Senate’s Decision To Summon Judges

LEDAP, Senate, JudgesThe Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has condemned the plan by the Senate Committee on Judiciary to summon the judges who were recently arrested by the DSS.

LEDAP’s National Coordinator, Mr Chino Obiagwu, in a statement on Sunday, notes that the legislature has no oversight power over judicial officers under the constitutional principle of separation of powers in sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution.

Mr Obiagwu explained that it is only the National Judicial Council (NJC) that has the power of control and discipline of judges and justices of superior courts in Nigeria.

“Any interference by the legislature or the executive into the conduct of judges in carrying out their judicial functions will amount to unlawful interference with the independence of the judiciary.

“The 1999 Constitution, unlike the legal framework of past military regimes, has consolidated the independence of the judiciary and established the NJC as the only body responsible for management of the judiciary,” he stated.

The statement further reads in part: “LEDAP is concerned that the recent raid and arrest of judges and justices by the DSS, and continued assault and raid on judges by other agencies of the executive, have the effect of opening up the judiciary to unlawful and unconstitutional interference and intimidation by other arms of government, the reason for which the Senate has the temerity to speak about inviting judicial officers for questioning.

“LEDAP will shortly approach the courts to seek orders restraining any such invitation or summon of the arrested judicial officers as it amounts to attempt to brow-beat and intimidate the judiciary.

“There are a lot of corruption issues and corrupt politicians in the legislature and executive which should preoccupy the Senators.

“The scandal arising from the padding of the budget, which has been going on for many years in the legislature with connivance of the executive, as well as bogus and secretive huge allowances and emoluments claimed by legislators are more damaging economic crimes against the Nigerian people that the Senate should address rather than intimidating few judges alleged to be corrupt.

“There are several court orders directing the National Assembly to disclose salaries and emoluments of its members, and details of constituency allowances claimed yearly by legislators. It has refused to obey these judgements of the courts.

“Nigerian legislators, adjudged as the most corrupt and most expensive in the world, has no legal or moral right to superintendent over alleged corruption in the judiciary.”

LEDAP called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to resist attempts by the executive and legislature “to control and manage the judiciary” as such situation will on the long run denigrate the judiciary and legal profession and threaten the rule of law.

Senior Nigerian Lawyers Back NBA’s Leave Suggestion For Arrested Judges

Abubakar-Mahmoud-NBA-President on arrested judges
President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmoud, had condemned the arrest of the judges

The body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria has endorsed the recent call by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud, for the arrested judges to proceed on a leave of absence pending when they are cleared of all the allegations made against them.

The body met in Lagos on Saturday to review and endorse all actions taken by the NBA’s president so far on the incident.

Mr Mahmoud had said that the request was in order to protect the sanctity and integrity of judicial processes that may involve the judges concerned and to safeguard the public image of the institution.

He said that the recommendation was without prejudice to the innocence or otherwise of the judges involved in the ongoing investigations.

The National Judicial Council (NJC) had said on Saturday that it had opened investigation on complaints against the arrested judges, but that it had not received any complaint from the Department of State Services that arrested them.

“They should be required to recuse themselves from further judicial functions or required to proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings,” Mr Mahmoud had insisted.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, reports that even though the meeting of the body of senior advocates was not open to journalists, those in attendance included the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, former presidents of the Nigerian Bar Association and other senior advocates.

Also in attendance was President Mahmoud’s main challenger in the July 2016 NBA presidential elections, Joe-Kyari Gadzama.

It is the first time the candidate is meeting with Abubakar Mahmoud after he assumed office as the 28th president of the NBA, giving an indication that despite the differences, the senior advocates are united in their stance on the efforts to fight corruption in the judiciary.

The body also reaffirmed its support for the NBA in its efforts to fight corruption in the bar and on the bench.

The NBA recently set up a task force to urgently review the current developments in the country and come up with clear specific recommendations on how best to clean up the nation’s judiciary and rebuild confidence of Nigerians in our law courts.

The report of the task force is to be submitted in the next two weeks.

On Friday, however, the NJC disagreed with the NBA on the alleged corruption case against some judges.

The NJC dismissed the call by the NBA for the judges under investigation to proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

It said that it would be unlawful for it to yield to the call by the NBA, as “that position breaches the 2014 revised judicial discipline regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to section 160 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended”.

Several judges were few weeks ago arrested by security operatives of the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police Force on allegations of corruption and misconduct.

They were released on recognition few days after their arrest.


19 Lawyers Appointed As Senior Advocates Of Nigeria For 2013

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has confirmed the appointment of the private prosecutor of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC), Mr. Godwin Odumu Obla and 18 other legal practitioners as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) for the year 2013.

LPPC made the confirmation on Friday during its meeting in Abuja.

Announcing the list of the 19 successful candidates for the 2013 members of the inner bar to the media, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court/LPPC secretary, Sunday Olorundahunsi said the committee has found only one member of the academia, Prof. Lawrence Asekome Atsegbua of the University of Benin worthy to wear the silk cloth for this year.

Other legal practitioners appointed include Adele Eberechi, Olumide Olusoga Sofowora, Uko Essien Udom, Anthony Ikechukwu Ani, Suraj Sa’eda and Anthony Chukwuemeka Anaenugwu.

Others are Joe Ad’ojo Abrahams, Akinlolu Timothy Kehinde, Biriyai Dambo, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, Olalekan Fatai Yusuf, Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, Aliyu miatasamu Abdullahi, and the wife of Chief Solomon Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Mrs. Victoria Olufunmilayo Awomolo.

Chief Justice swears in Falana, 24 others as Senior Advocates

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Alooma Mukhta on Wednesday swear in twenty Five lawyers who were recently elevated to the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) as part of activities marking the commencement of a new legal year by the Supreme Court.

Lagos based lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana and the others were conferred as senior advocates by the Legal Practitioners Privileges committee. The elevation, the Committee said, was in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Practitioners’ Act 2004.

Those who were sworn in alongside Mr Falana included: Yemi Akinseye-George, a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Dakas Clement James Dakas, Joy Okungbowa Adesina, Connie – Jeanne Aremu, Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, Ogwu James Onoja, Garuba Usman Tetengi, Henry Oghogho Ogbodu, Selekeowei Larry, Abenny O. Mohammed and Charles Nwanne Obishai.

Others are Luke Chukwudi Illogu, Francis Chuka Agbo, Paul C. Ananaba, Akinlaja Dayo Moses, Ahmed Raji, Adekunle Theophilus Oyesanya, Rotimi Oluseyi Oguneso, Oluseye Samuel Opasanya, Aderoja Claudius Olumiyiwa, Aliyu Umar, Illo Katune Sanusi, Rotimi Jacobs and Ndukwe A. Nnawuchi.
Justice Mukhta praised the Supreme Court Practice Direction signed into law by the past Administration for contributing to the speedy conclusion of election cases.

“In this new legal year, our efforts will be redoubled to ensure that the confidence bestowed on us by the people and by God will not be thrown into the abyss,” she said.

The Chief Justice said there are presently an estimated 40,000 prisoners in Nigeria with about two thirds of this population not convicted.
She said that perhaps the Amnesty International is correct for laying the blame on the Nigerian judiciary where cases are unnecessarily adjourned.

She commended the efforts of some state administration aimed at introducing alternative punitive measures as a way of prison decongestion and praised Community service, non-custodian sentences and probation as having great benefits to the government and the society at large.

Also speaking at the event, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke called for a rethinking in the elevation of persons to the rank of senior advocates of Nigeria. He observed that the general perception is that being a SAN offers legal practitioners license to charge very fat legal fees.

“In popular discourse within and outside the profession, there is a palpable feeling or perception that the rank is a passport to fame, personal riches and comfort. To others, the rank is a license to command fat fees, open doors and prominence bordering sometimes on arrogance. It is a matter of regret that these negative perceptions of the rank have engendered resentment from our colleagues who are yet to be similarly recognised and honoured”

He said the position of senior advocates of Nigeria places a duty and responsibility on the bearer to the profession.

He called on the new senior advocates as leaders of the Bar, to behave in a manner befitting the rank.