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PRACTICAL IMPERATIVE OF AN ADVOCATE IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIAN ENVIRONMENT

1.0       PREAMBLE

I am highly elated, delighted and honoured to be called upon to deliver an inaugural talk organised by NBA, Ahoada Branch in our Orashi Region of Rivers State in honour of one of our own – Honourable Justice Joy Akpugnum who is proceeding on transfer to another judicial division within the Rivers State Judiciary.

Today’s occasion is not only auspicious but equally significant because it is ably chaired by an illustrious son of the region and an erudite jurist in the person of Honourable Justice T.K Osu of the Rivers State Judiciary.

May I also utilize this singular privilege and opportunity to congratulate the chairman, officers and members of the Ahoada Bar Association for the thought and actualization of today’s event. It is indeed a mark of good leadership to give honour to whom honour is due and more so to embark on an event of this nature that is noble and decent.

The honouring of Hon. Justice Joy Akpugnum goes to show that “My Lord” is held at high esteem by the local Bar. Therefore, I urge my lord with respect to uphold those qualities that have endeared you to the Ahoada Bar in your new jurisdiction so that you will not only be a worthy ambassador of our region but a judge of worthy emulation.

  • CHOICE OF TOPIC: The information of delivering a talk to our local Bar was formally communicated to me a short while ago at the Chief Judge’s Court in Port Harcourt by Barrister Emeka Ichoku. I had no other information on the issue until barely a week ago when I received a letter of invitation and an invitation card. It was only then that I became seised of the task that I am expected to discharge.

A “talk” is essentially construed to mean “to speak about something informally”. A talk being on informal discourse on something, I felt that it is perhaps better to speak on thus:

  • something we already know or should know as ministers in the temple of justice;

The talk therefore is to re-awaken us to fundamental issues that may assist us in the discharge of our professional duties inorder to enable us rise to the challenges of the time and more relevant in our operating environment hence the choice of the topic.

 

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3.0       FUNCTIONAL DUTIES OF AN ADVOCATE IN NIGERIAN ENVIRONMENT

Having attempted to explain the choice of topic for discourse, it seems necessary to ask at this juncture – “what is expected of an Advocate in the Nigerian environment”?. Inorder to vividly answer the question, recourse must be had to the functional responsibilities of an Advocate in the acclaimed functional duties of an Advocate will entail as follows:-[1]

 

* LAUNCHEON TALK DELIVERED IN HONOUR OF HONOURABLE JUSTICE JOY AKPUGNUM BY DR. T. C. OSANAKPO (SAN) BY THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA), AHOADA BRANCH UNDER THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMANSHIP OF HON. JUSTICE T. K. OSU.

 

[1] See Chambers English Dictionary, Page 498

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