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As part of efforts to improve the ongoing legal profession in Nigeria, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has expressed its interest and support for the Igbo apprenticeship system (IAS), popularly known as ‘Igbaboi’ based on the belief that the system will go a long way, not only in reforming the legal profession, but also in developing it in line with ethics of the profession.
This was made known by the President of NBA, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, yesterday during the endowment launch for the ‘Igbaboi’ by Igbo lawyers under the umbrella of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja.
The initiative is commendable, in Maikyau’s opinion, and is one of the greatest ways to impart desired knowledge, character traits, and abilities to the next generation.
The endowment fund is a legacy project aimed at replicating the success of Ndigbo in business within the legal profession by institutionalising mentorship and career development for young lawyers.
Present at the event were former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Kanu Agabi; former senator representing Anambra Central, Ben Obi; senior lawyers of Igbo extraction, among others.
While declaring NBA’s support for the initiative, Maikyau assured that the scheme would be expanded to become a national mentorship policy of the Federal Government, but pleaded that the model should not be limited to only lawyers of Igbo extraction.
‘If you are the best of lawyers without character, there is no way that intellect is going to transfer or translate into value. So, this is a mentorship model. Like I said, it is welcomed into our fold as lawyers; but please, let us not limit it to the Igbo. We should extend it to others. We should take it to the North and West, because this is something that is going to bring benefit to each and every one of us.
‘So, as I congratulate you for coming up with this idea, this is something that has actually distinguished the Igbo nation across the world, and you can see how effective it has been to transform the Igbo nation to an enterprising nation. And that’s one thing you can’t take away from the Igbo,’ he emphasised.
The NBA president reiterated that the initiative is something that the NBA supports, noting that they will make a recommendation so that this becomes a national mentorship policy of the Federal Government.