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Stamping out touts!

For the purpose of discuss, ‘legal documents’ shall include pleadings, affidavits, depositions, applications, instruments, agreements, deeds, letters, memoranda, reports, legal opinions or any similar documents and a lawyer who signs or files any of these documents in contravention with the above provision, such document so signed or filed shall be deemed not to have been properly signed or filed.
The Nigerian Bar Association at the National Workshop on the countdown to the 2015 general elections held on the 14th of January 2015 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja signed a strategic partnership agreement with Strateflex Nigeria Ltd for the production of adhesive paper stamps for lawyers. The NBA stamp policy requires that lawyers affix their numbered stamp on every document endorsed by or emanating from them.
The personalised adhesive stamp will contain each lawyer’s name, enrolment number, and security features that will be obvious when the stamp is placed against light, it will also disintegrate into four parts when attempt is made to remove it from any document to which it is adhered. The stamp which cost N4,000  (four thousand naira) for every packet of 120 stamps will only be issued to verified legal practitioners whose names are on the roll of lawyers and stored in NBA database, the stamp will not be issued to law firms.
How then does a young lawyer get verified and updated into NBA database to be eligible to process the application for stamp? The Database and Documentation of Nigerian Lawyers Committee has set out the requirements for verification as follows; Call to Bar certificate {photocopy}, means of identification, proof of payment of bar practice fees for 2014, proof of payment of branch dues, evidence of change of name {if any} and proof of payment of non-refundable administrative fees of N2,000 {two thousand naira only} into the NBA database project.
It therefore means that a young lawyer from 0-4 years post call at the Bar would be required to spend approximately N16,000 (sixteen thousand naira) to be good to go, Bar practicing fee of N5,000, branch dues and welfare in Kaduna branch goes for N5, 000.00 {don’t know of other branches}, verification for those yet to be verified N2,000.00 then application for stamp which goes for N4, 000.00.
Paying this sum of money shouldn’t be a problem to any young lawyer who is sure of where he is heading to in the profession, but so many things make this money so far from the reach of young ones to spare no matter how willing. This young wig believes that the time for law firms to boost their support to the younger ones under their employ has come, a law firm needs not pay all the monies required of a young wig for the verification, stamp and seal, however subsidy on the overall amount would go a long way in alleviating some plight and burden.
Touts who have no business in the corridors of the legal profession have abused and hijacked briefs which ordinarily would be helpful to a young wigs practice, they have sabotaged the name of the legal profession and the quality of the service we render this and many more is the reason why all hands must be on deck to take back what’s rightfully ours and stamp them out, if successfully stamped out, dependence on senior lawyers for meagre sums would be reduced as a young lawyer would comfortably take care of his needs with the briefs he gets.
All application forms including the NBA prepaid card and insurance cover can be submitted through the local branch chairmen, can be dropped at the National secretariat in Abuja or scanned and uploaded to the NBA website.
Do send your comment(s), observation(s) and recommendation(s) to
danielbulusson@gmail.com, follow on twitter @bulussdan or visit www.facebook.com/YoungLaywersColumnm

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