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Thursday, 12 July 2012
Femi Falana, Nigeria’s rights lawyer becomes SAN
Nigeria’s human rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, alongside 24 others has been elevated to the elite lawyers’ rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, by the Legal Practitioners Privileges committee.
The elevation was endorsed at its meeting held today at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja, in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Practitioners’ Act 2004.
The other new entrants are Professor Yemi Akinseye- George, a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Professor Dakas Clement James Dakas, Joy Okungbowa Adesina, Chief Mrs. Connie – Jeanne Aremu, Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, Ogwu James Onoja, Garuba Usman Tetengi, Henry Oghogho Ogbodu, Selekeowei Larry, Abenny O. Mohammed and Charles Nwanne Obishai.
Others are Luke Chukwudi Illogu, Francis Chuka Agbo, Paul C. Ananaba, Akinlaja Dayo Moses, Ahmed Raji, Adekunle Theophilus Oyesanya, Rotimi Oluseyi Oguneso, Oluseye Samuel Opasanya, Aderoja Claudius Olumiyiwa, Aliyu Umar, Illo Katune Sanusi, Rotimi Jacobs and Ndukwe A. Nnawuchi.
Their swearing in will be announced later.
Falana, whose elevation was for many years, being anticipated was the former president of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and he is also a former chairman of the West African Bar Association, WABA.
He is also a politician having contested and lost the governorship election of Ekiti State in 2007 on the ticket of the National Conscience Party.
Mr Falana was born on 20 May 1958 at Ilawe, Ekiti state, Nigeria. He had his primary education at St. Michael’s Primary School, Ilawe, between 1963 and 1968, his secondary education was at Sacred Heart Catholic Seminary between 1971 and 1975.
He studied law at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University from 1977 to 1981. He was called to the bar a year later.
In 1983 after his youth service, he joined the Chambers of Alao Aka-Bashorun, a renowned legal activist. In 1991, Mr Falana started his own Chambers, Femi Falana, which later became Falana and Falana Chambers, with his wife Funmi coming on board as a partner.
Falana began his activism as a student at the University of Ife, graduating into human rights activism as a full blown lawyer, when he took bail of some university students who had been unlawfully remanded in prison custody.
Mr Falana has claimed that this incident led to him not being issued a discharge certificate by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) after his one year mandatory national service.
In July 2001, Mr Falana petitioned the Justice Oputa led human rights panel over his withheld certificate.
The NYSC denied that the certificate had been intentionally withheld and instead averred that it was Mr Falana who had not requested for it. The certificate was subsequently released to him on live television at the commission’s sitting.
Mr Falana is renowned for providing free legal services to the poor and disadvantaged and had suffered long spells in detention under Nigeria’s past military dictators.