The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Uyo branch, Elder Aniema Etuk has described as totally unacceptable the attitude of family members of deceased lawyers in the state writing directly to the Chief Judge of the state for approval of valedictory court sessions in honour of their loved ones without recourse to the branch. He also condemned the judiciary approving same, without seeking inputs from the Bar.
This position was made known last Friday, at the valedictory court session held in honour of the late Iboro Edet Idiong, a Dispute Resolution Officer with the Multi Door Courthouse which took place at the multi purpose hall of the judiciary headquarters, Uyo. Elder Etuk stated that the proper procedure is for the family members of the deceased to inform the local branch of the demise of the lawyer and request for a valedictory court session.
The branch will in turn write to the Chief Judge requesting for approval of a session in honour of the deceased lawyer, where the deceased is a member of the branch in good standing. According to the chairman, to benefit from this, such lawyer must have been a registered member of the branch, who has paid his practising fees, bar and welfae dues as and when due and also been regularly involved in bar activities.
He warned that the NBA, Uyo branch will not honour any request for such session without the input of the Bar and lawyers must ensure they regularize their membership, to benefit from the various welfare packages of the branch.
The presiding judge of the session, Honourable Justice Okon Okon, in his address,also urged lawyers to do the right thing by meeting their obligations to the Bar, as this is a precondition for them to enjoy the support of the Bar when the need arises.