The Nigeria Bar Association in Edo state have kicked against the forcible retirement of Lawyers working with Legal Assistants along with the Judges who engaged them.
Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Benin branch, Pius Oiwoh says the clause in the appointment terms for the Legal Assistants which puts them at the mercy of Judges should be removed.
Mr Oiwoh said, “Because of the clause in the terms of engagement that they are at the mercy of the judge, so the judge can fire them or upon retirement such persons also retire”.
Edo state has about 30 Legal Assistants are on the payroll of the Edo state government though they are engaged by Judges who personally pick them to serve as Personal Assistants, help them with research in addition to performing purely advisory roles.
According to Oiwoh, efforts are in advanced stage to bring the practice which is exceptional to Legal Assistants in Edo state to an end as the Association has brought the development to the notice of relevant authorities in the State.
In a related development the Benin NBA chairman said his association was also working hard on ways to get the government to stop the practice of employing Lawyers as contract ‘staff’ of the State Ministry of Justice.
He said he is hopeful that the 15 Lawyers who are presently on contract with the Ministry would soon gain full and permanent employment as the ugly situation cannot be allowed to continue.#