The legal profession, (as if other professions are illegal) has its own checklist of rituals and practices by which the profession is performed. One of it is the Call to Bar ceremony where only the Body of Benchers Chairman and the DG, Nigerian Law School, addresses the new entrants into the wigs and gown profession.
One set of faces that the cameras caught out at this year’s on September 15th, 2020 is this cover picture. Both faces are interesting for the same reason but of different meaning.
Chief John Ochoga, a member of the Body of Benchers which is the highest regulatory institution for the practice of law in the country, is generally and without controversy regarded as a force for change as well as a link between the old and the new in the legal profession as well as in cultural, political and just about every other spheres. Almost no one contests this.
But no less interesting is Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, otherwise known as the face of the ‘jurisprudence of change’. That reckoning derives from what the A-G said shortly after assuming office some nearly six years ago. Then he said:
“I am, therefore, committed to the employment of law as an instrument of social engineering to work and realize the Change that we all desire as a people”
But, nearly six years after serving as the custodian of the jurisprudential and/or legal orthodoxy underpinning the Buhari administration, the nature of the ‘change’ invoked by Malami is now a matter of controversy across Nigeria. The controversial nature of the administration itself has meant an equally controversial A-G. The jury is totally divided whether Malami has got it right in terms of law and the management of power.
Whether this A-G would thus still be able to sing a more unifying ‘jurisprudence of Change’ to all the querulous parties to the stake called Nigeria is what is at stake now, given especially his recent politics.
But, that is at that level. Down, down are the new entrants into the profession. The University of Ibadan is understood to have carted away 28 of the 38 prizes at the final Bar Examinations, producing the overall best graduating student in the January 2020 outing. However, the picture that came to Intervention is that of a gem from another school – the University of Jos where Barrister Oganya C. Ogbole came out with a First Class.