Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed yesterday said the prevalence of fake lawyers in the country is negatively affecting the integrity of the legal profession as well as casting a shadow of disrepute upon legal practitioners.
The CJN who said this in an address he delivered at the official launch of the “Stamp for Lawyers ” by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Abuja said one of the major challenges in the profession has been, how to differentiate between a “real” and “fake” legal practitioner.
Justice Mohammed said, “Indeed, Judges find it difficult to identify which counsel, appearing before them, is genuine or otherwise. Of even greater concern is the fact that members of the public are often left in a quandary over who they can place their trust, property and even lives on.
“We must not forget that the credibility of the Bar has a direct impact on respect for the Rule of Law and the independence of the Courts.
This is why it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the stamp is used as a veritable means of authenticating a qualified legal practitioner and the documents emanating from him.
“I believe that the stamp can, if properly deployed, become a hallmark of a firm’s work and a way for prospective clients to better identify their counsel”, he said and added that the launch of the stamp for Lawyers by the NBA was another milestone in the country’s legal profession.
The CJN said the significance of the launch of the stamp for lawyers was in line with the provision of Rule 10 (1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, which he said, “mandates that a lawyer acting in his or her capacity as a legal practitioner, legal officer or adviser of any government department or corporation shall not sign or file a legal document unless his stamp and seal are affixed on any such document.
The NBA President, Augustine Allegey (SAN), in his address used the occasion to formally present to lawyers the insurance policy by Leadway Assurance Company and the probono declaration.

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