The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) has opened applications for the 2023 award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) with N1million fee. The LPPC, in a notice by its Secretary/Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hajo Sarki Bello, said the application began on January 1, and closes on March 31, 2023.
The notice released yesterday stated that the invitation was in accordance with section5( 2) of the Legal Practitioners Act, 2004 and regulation 10 (1) (4) of the Guidelines for the Conferment of the Rank of SAN 2022. It reads in part:“The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee hereby makes a formal call for applications preparatory to the award of the rank for the year 2023.
“Commencing with this year’s exercise, applications shall only be made online and prospective applicants are directed to visit www.lppconline. com to make their applications.”
It notified prospective applicants that each person “must pay a non-refundable processing fee of N1million only to any of the following accounts held in the name of the “Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (SAN)” Account Number: 1014103141, at Zenith Bank plc and Account No. 0213662834atGTBankplc. “Upon conclusion of payment, an applicant should upload a copy of the evidence of payment on the application portal. The applicant will receive an e-mail notification from the LPPC Secretariat confirming the applicant’s payment and clearing the applicant to proceed with the application process online.”
TheLPPCwarnedfurther that any submission made after the deadline “shall be treatedasanon-submission.”
Meanwhile, two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Victor Okpara and Babatunde Ogala, have thrown their weights behind the (LPPC’s decision to collect N1 million as application fee from lawyers who are interested in attaining the rank of SAN. The lawyers in different telephone interviews with New Telegraph said the amount is justified considering the current economic realities in the country.
In his submission, Okpara said: “What an applicant is expected to pay is purely the responsibility of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) and that Committee is headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
“Having regard to the inflationary trend in the country, and the fact that things are very expensive now, and the process itself in terms of registration and so many other things are cost-effective too, one may say that there is little justification for the mass increase in the fee.
“But then, you must equally realise that it used to be N600, 000 and after confirmation, then you pay another N200, 000. “Giving the high cost of things, a little adjustment may be okay. However, one would have expected just a minimal increase, having regard to the fact that this has to do with merit and ensuring merit in the whole process”.
On his part, Babatunde Ogala said: “In the light of the current economic realities and administrative charges, the one million naira fee is not bad.”