MATTERS OF THE BAR 1 - NOMENCLATURE. By S.O.K Shillings, Esq. (The Pen Master)


Nigerians are becoming disillusioned about leadership day by day and the wailing is turning musical. Leadership in different facets: national, community, organizational, professional et al. It is important to identify the key issues in all facets. This short serial seeks to identify issues in Bar leadership from little to the gigantic.

What is in a name? I answer: the window to the personae. I wonder if the second 'n' of 'Nigerian' Bar Association  should not be dispensed with, hence: Nigeria Bar Association.

'Nigerian' suggests 'native or indigenous to Nigeria'. The NBA is not for Nigerians alone but all who could attend the Law School and are called to the Bar in Nigeria.

It is also not a property of  ownership for the country like a ship; not even an association owned by the nation.

Can we take a cue from the Nigeria Union of Teachers (N. U. T.) and the Nigeria Medical (sic) Association (N. M. A)?

There is something called 'acceptable usage' wherein some common errors pass the crucibles of scrutiny. However, I think, without any professional qualification, that 'Nigeria Airways' is the rule while 'British Airways' is the acceptable usage.

Connected to this is the general name for the members of the association. It is statutorily provided that members of NBA are 'legal practitioners'. So, when you fill a form asking for occupation, conversely, it should be 'legal practice'.

I just wonder if there is an illegal practice or illegal practitioners. I submit that 'legal practitioner' should not pass the scrutiny. It is unacceptable usage.

I do not know what is wrong in calling ourselves LAWYER(S) simplicita. Perhaps then occupation could be lawyering or 'law practice'.

I submitted so at NEC Makurdi in 2014. It was accepted but not implemented.

Well, that is one little debatable issue.

Post a Comment