The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday urged legal professionals to reform and renovate the law profession in the country to meet international standards.
Osinbajo made the call at the inauguration ceremony of the Ultra Modern Sir Adetokunbo Ademola Dinning Hall of the Law School, Lagos.
The hall was remodeled and refurbished by the South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd. (SAPETRO), founded by a retired Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Theophillus Danjuma.
Osinbajo, a professor of law, said that the legal profession might continue to suffer serious decline and lose its pride of place in the affairs of the country, if fundamental reforms were not implemented.
”This is an institution where we teach the law, teach character and teach discipline. But the declining rate of law education in the country calls for concern.
”The Council of Legal Education is a statutory body charged with the responsibility of ensuring standards in the teaching and learning of legal education.
”I urge members of the Council to ensure that the necessary restructuring and reorganization of the legal education sector is put in place to promote the Nigeria legal system, until it is at par with international standard.
”The laws guiding legal education in Nigeria needed to be updated to reflect the demands of the time. Changes are necessary to bring up the quality of legal education in this country, ” he said.
Also, Mr Olanrewaju Onadeko, Director-General of the Nigerian Law School (NLS), said that the institution was special as it had trained many lawyers in the country.
”Most of the lawyers in Nigeria today, from the Chief Justice to the Magistrates, went through this school and they are making us proud, ” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Onueze Okocha, Chairman, Council of Legal Education, thanked SAPETRO for the renovation of the hall.
”In 2013, they promised to renovate this hall and they were faithful to see the project through.
”To whom much is given, much is expected. We promise to continue to produce lawyers capable of providing the manpower needs of the country in the emerging fields of law, ” he said.
Mr Babatunde Fashola, the immediate past governor of Lagos State, told the gathering that the institution had assisted in building capacity of qualified lawyers for better service delivery.
Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who was represented by Mrs Oyinkansola Badejo- Okusanya, also commended the school for its efforts to further enhance the teaching of law, through its yet to be released TV drama series entitled “Eko Law”.
”I am happy that I was part of that project because I approved its sponsorship when I was the Governor (of Lagos State).
”The reformation of legal education cannot be over emphasized, and this TV drama would aid that reformation, ” he said.
In her remarks, Sen. Daisy Danjuma, Executive Vice-Chairman of SAPETRO, said that the repairs and renovation of the dining hall was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
”I went through this school and I know what it used to be. When I saw the state of the dining hall, we (SAPETRO) decided to renovate and make it an ultramodern hall befitting this kind of institution.
”We will continue to do more where we can to contribute to infrastructural building of the legal education, ” she said.
The event featured a five-minute trailer of the TV drama series – :EKO LAW”, directed by a Nollywood frontline filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan in conjunction with the Law school.