Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, says adoption of a set of reforms that are hinged on reclaiming the traditions of virtuous ethics and entrenching personal and corporate integrity, among other things, are some of the requisites for addressing the many challenges facing the legal profession in Nigeria.
Osinbajo stated this in Abuja at the Body of Bencher Award Night where he was preferred to the prestigious rank of Life Bencher.
According to him, “The weaknesses that have recently been exposed in our profession, as disturbing as they are, have at the same time provided us great opportunity for deep introspection and self-assessment.
“This is an opportunity for reform and reclaim of that tradition of virtuous ethics; a tradition of moral inquiry and doggedness in the dispassionate and impartial application of law no matter whose ox is gored.
“Our professional practice and the courts must always measure up to the moral, ethical and statutory standards we subscribed to.
“Whether we sit at the Bar or on the Bench, we bear the responsibility for a fair and just society; a free, fair and impartial justice system that ushers in progressive reforms in governance and protects the social structure of our nation.
“My Lords, distinguished members of the Body of Benchers: Our greatest debt at this point in our lives and careers is to the future. The future of this profession that has been so kind and generous to us and to this society that has yielded leadership at various levels to us.
“That debt is one which we must discharge faithfully. First by being worthy mentors to an ever growing number of legal practitioners, but more importantly by fearlessly insisting that the bedrock of justice and the rule of law is personal and corporate integrity.
“I congratulate all the honorees tonight. An award from the most distinguished body of our profession is worthy of commendation indeed. I pray that you will go from glory to glory.”