Tobenna Erojikwe Highlights Professional Development and Dignity of the Bar at FIDA Ondo State AGM

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Ondo State, Tobenna Erojikwe, Partner at The LawCrest LLP and Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Bar Association-Continuing Legal Education (NBA-ICLE), delivered a notable address. He emphasised the crucial role of professional development and the pursuit of justice in restoring the dignity of the legal profession.

The theme, “Professional Development and Restoring the Dignity of the Bar: Speaking for the Voiceless,” was central to Tobenna Erojikwe’s address. He began by highlighting the fundamental importance of empowering women and children in shaping a just and prosperous society. Tobenna Erojikwe also pointed out that empowered women play a significant role in economic growth and political stability, which, in turn, benefits their families and communities. He said, “Empowering women and nurturing well-developed children can serve as catalysts for transformative change.”

Tobenna Erojikwe’s address presented startling statistics that showcased the persistent gender-based discrimination and violence in the world, highlighting the pressing need for FIDA’s mission to address these issues. He emphasised that FIDA’s work, such as offering legal aid to survivors of domestic violence and advocating for gender-based violence victims, is instrumental in creating access to justice in environments where it remains elusive. He said, “These stark statistics paint a sobering picture of the challenges that persist.”

Furthermore, the address focused on the essence of being a lawyer and the need to reconnect with the core values that led individuals into the legal profession. Erojikwe highlighted the motto of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), “Promoting the Rule of Law,” as a guiding principle that should permeate daily legal practice, emphasising the intrinsic connection between this commitment and FIDA’s mission. He quoted, “The motto of the Nigerian Bar Association, ‘Promoting the Rule of Law,’ reminds us of our enduring commitment to justice, fairness, and the rule of law in society.”

Tobenna Erojikwe encouraged legal practitioners to reflect on their motivations and passion for pursuing a legal career. He reminded them of their initial commitment to uphold justice, protect the vulnerable, and advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. He urged legal professionals to remain unwavering advocates for justice and to uphold ethical standards. He quoted, “It is a reminder that our work is not just a profession; it is a calling—a calling to be champions of justice.”

The address also emphasised the significance of continuous professional development in the lives of legal practitioners. Tobenna Erojikwe, as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the NBA-ICLE, highlighted the advantages of ongoing learning, such as enhanced competence, ethical vigilance, and the capacity to support organisations like FIDA more effectively. He emphasised that by investing in professional development, legal professionals strengthen their collective capacity to champion the cause of the voiceless. He quoted, “By prioritising continuing professional development, we fortify ourselves to become even greater advocates for the voiceless.”

In his closing remarks, Tobenna Erojikwe commended FIDA Ondo State for their remarkable achievements in advocating for justice, the voiceless, and women’s rights. He called on legal practitioners to be champions of justice and reminded them that their duty extends beyond the courtroom, encompassing the realms of ethics, leadership, and collective action. Tobenna Erojikwe expressed optimism that, through collaborative efforts, lawyers could contribute to restoring the dignity of the legal profession and making a profound difference in society. He quoted, “It is through our collective commitment to this endeavour that we restore the dignity of the bar.”

This address served as a powerful reminder of the critical work undertaken by FIDA and the legal community in ensuring access to justice, upholding the rule of law, and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. It emphasized the enduring relevance of FIDA’s mission in a world still marred by gender-based discrimination and violence.