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UK Lawyers Can’t Practice In Nigeria – FG Makes U-turn

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UK Lawyers Can’t Practice In Nigeria – FG Makes U-turn

The Federal Government has made a U-turn on its earlier statement indicating that United Kingdom, UK, lawyers are allowed to practice in Nigeria.

Nigerian Minister for Trade and Investment Doris Uzoka-Anite, in a statement, highlighted that the UK-trained lawyers can practice in Nigeria following an Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership signed by Nigeria and the UK on Tuesday.

However, after fierce criticism, particularly by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Uzoka-Anite retracted her earlier statement.

In a series of posts on her X account, Uzoka-Anite said: “Earlier today, Nigeria signed a far-reaching MoU with the United Kingdom for Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership.

“Regrettably, our earlier report erroneously suggests that Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that allows lawyers licensed in the United Kingdom to practise in Nigeria. We wish to state emphatically that there is no such provision or agreement in the MoU.”

The minister explained that Nigeria does not have a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the UK and made no commitment under the MoU or elsewhere to allow UK-licensed lawyers to practise in Nigeria.

“As it currently stands, foreign licensed lawyers (including those licensed in the UK) cannot practise in Nigeria, as categorically stated in the MoU.
“We recognise that cross-jurisdictional practice between Nigeria and the United Kingdom is still an ongoing conversation amongst relevant stakeholders within the legal practitioners community in Nigeria, and this was reflected in the MoU,” she added.

Recall that the NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, had condemned the purported agreement in a statement on Tuesday, stating that the statement credited to the Minister was “ridiculous, unpatriotic, and uninformed”.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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