Police are investigating some Nigerian lawyers after a committee that approves the country’s legal profession’s highest award found they forged court judgement to earn high marks, the chief justice of the federation, Walter Onnoghen, said Monday.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria rank is considered a mark of excellence and is awarded following recommendation by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC).
Honourees are lawyers the committee considers to have contributed significantly to the development of the legal profession and who can advise on issues in administration of justice in the country.
The title is awarded after due observation of works done by prospective lawyers and judicial officers with whom the function was carried out.
Speaking during the conferment of the rank on 30 lawyers at an event to mark the beginning of the 2018/2019 legal year on Monday, Mr Onnoghen said the recent exercise which resulted in the emergence of the new batch of advocates witnessed many discrepancies, including cases of forged court judgement.
The cases have been reported to the police, he said.
“I have to point out that in the just concluded exercise, some applicants were found to have engaged in dishonourable conduct such as forgery of judgment, resulting in their being reported to the police for investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.
“We have to know that if one is not for any reason qualified to wear silk as a judicial officer, he cannot wear it as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.”
Mr Onnoghen thanked the LPPC for overseeing the affairs of the senior advocates since inception.
The CJN however made no mention of the lawyers involved in the alleged acts of forgery or how they would be prosecuted.