An 80-year-old man, Pius Enebeli, on Thursday made history by becoming the oldest new wig ever produced by the Nigerian Law School.
Enebeli and 2,217 others, including a daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Halima, were called to the Bar at two separate ceremonies held in Abuja on Thursday.
Buhari’s wife, Aisha, was at the morning session, during which her daughter, Halima, who was part of the first batch of 1,132 new wigs, were called to the Bar.
The ceremony was conducted for 1,127 new lawyers during the session, which began at 3pm, on Thursday.
The two ceremonies, which held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, were presided over by the Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Bandele Aiku.
After performing the Call ceremony for the first batch at about 10.26am, he asked the new lawyers to wear their wigs.
A total of 2,218 new wigs were the successful candidates at the April 2016 and previous Bar Final Examinations of the Nigerian Law School.
The Director-General of the NLS, Mr. Olanrewaji Onadeko, acknowledged Enebeli’s record-breaking feat, while presenting the candidates for the actual Call on Thursday.
He said, “Let me also congratulate one of the new wigs, who is making history in his own right, by being the oldest new wig ever produced by the Nigerian Law School.
“He is 80 years old and we wish him a very successful career at the bar.”
He commended the candidates for impressive performance at their final examinations.
He vouched for the candidates as being of good character, which, he said, was part of the mandatory consideration for students to be eligible for admission into the Law school.
“Together with other academic and non-academic members of staff of the Nigerian Law School, I have closely monitored these aspirants during their training and I vouch for each and every one of them as men and women of learning and character as demanded by your august body,” Onadeko said.
He also expressed concern about institutions springing up outside the country specifically set up for Nigerian students but without any control by relevant Nigerian agencies.
He added, “While it is conceded that it is not the duty of Nigerian regulatory agencies to oversee institutions in other jurisdictions, there must be concern for what we are being exposed to by way of ‘foreign graduates’ seeking to return home, expectedly with knowledge acquired abroad.
“Some of these institutions offering Law are located in civil law jurisdictions.
“Indeed, one of them purportedly teaches only Nigerian Common Law subjects.
“The National Universities Commission is aware of this development and it has been taking appropriate steps to remedy the situation.”
He advised parents and students, willing to study Law overseas to seek advice and guidance from the NUC and the NLS before proceeding.
Aiku reminded the new lawyers that to be a successful lawyer demanded more than distinction in Law examinations.
He told the new lawyers to imbibe correct behaviour, proper professional spirit and understanding of the “tools of the craft.”
He said, “A legal practitioner is not only an officer of the court performing duties as such but holds a position of trust and confidence among members of the community.
“He is therefore subjected to a code of conduct known as the basic traditions of the profession, which are written and unwritten, the greater part being unwritten.