The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday urged lawyers to continue to offer their professional services for the development of the country.
He gave the advice at the inauguration of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) House in Abuja on Friday.
Osinbajo said that a lot of premium was placed on the lawyers’ capacity to perform creditably.
“A lot of premium is placed on our capacity to do things properly and the capacity to guide aright.
“I believe that our profession has a lot to offer to this nation, especially in its most difficult times.
“The most important aspect of that is integrity.
“Our profession must demonstrate that we are capable of teaching integrity in this land.
“If there is anything we need the most it is that ability to be able to demonstrate across all professions that we should be believed for what we say that we are.’’
Osinbajo said that if the association continued the way it was going, it would demonstrate to the world that it was not a profession for charging fees but the foundation of civilized society.
He described the judiciary as the most important aspect of the justice system, adding that the way the judiciary conducted trials and the time spent conduced to orderly governance and fulfillment of the rights of the people.
“We should make every attempt to do our best when it comes to delivery in the justice sector,’’ he said.
The vice president extolled the sense of unity of successive NBA executives which enabled the completion of its national secretariat.
He described the building as one the most important edifices in FCT because“ it demonstrates the unity of the legal profession and its capacity to start and finish projects’’.
He said that with the completion the project, the association had set a good example for both the association and the nation.
Osinbajo commended the NBA for conducting a free and fair elections recently, noting that the future of the association should concern every member.
He said that the appointment of seven lawyers, including four Senior Advocates of Nigeria, into the Muhammadu Buhari administration placed lots of responsibility on the association.
In his remarks, the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said the project marked another milestone on the consistent and progressive strides of the NBA.
He urged the members to remain united and to give the nation their best towards returning the nation on the path of true and sustainable development.
On his part, the President of NBA, Mr Augustine Alegeh, said he inherited the project from Mr Okey Wali four years ago, adding that it cost about N2.5 billion.
He said that some sections of the building, with a 1,000 capacity auditorium, would be allocated to members and the public for a fee to generate money for its maintenance.
Alegeh said the bar was proud of the project and its members for their contributions and urged them to cooperate with the government to ensure the growth of the country.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, who chaired the fund raising committee for the project, said substantial part of the fund came in from the practicing fees of lawyers devoid of illicit funds and thanked members for their commitment.