President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and his Deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, led other lawmakers, friends and well-wishers to rejoice with one of their own who was recently elevated as a member of the Nigerian Body of Benchers.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal matters, was recently appointed the newest member of the prestigious professional body.
According to an official letter announcing the appointment, Senator Bamidele, a seasoned legal practitioner, was considered for the membership of the body “sequel to the resolution by the Body of Benchers that Chairmen of the National Assembly Committees on Judiciary should be made members of the Body of Benchers by virtue of the office.”
Lawan said the officials responsible for the appointment of Bamidele as a member of the Body of Benchers “have taken the right decision.”
“This is one of the best decisions they have made,” Lawan said in Abuja on Wednesday at a get together dinner organised by friends of Bamidele to celebrate the appointment.
“Senator Bamidele is one individual, one man that you can rely on. You can go to sleep when you have an understanding with him.
“This is one person that tries all the time to get us to be calmed in whatever situation we find ourselves.
“Today, he is a pillar that we in the Senate are proud of. Here is a man who uses soft, palatable words to achieve great things,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said his relationship with Bamidele has gone beyond colleagues but now brothers.
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege said he was at the occasion full of excitement because “we are here to honour our friend, our brother.”
“A man of very strong conviction. A man of faith. Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, from the very first day he set his foot in the Senate, we knew where he stood. Once he’s with you, he’s with you indeed. His word was always his bond.
“It is because of the way he held himself, his very strong knowledge of the law and his moral uprightness, that informed the decision from the very beginning that he would be the man to head this committee (on Judiciary).
Senator Omo-Agege said the elevation of Bamidele as a bencher came to them as no surprise.
“As a lawyer myself, we all grew up, dreaming that someday we will get appointed into this same Body of Benchers. So my brother, you have done us proud. What we saw in you is what those who made this decision have also seen in you.
“So we are very proud of you. You have been a good ambassador to us, your friends. You have been a very good ambassador to the ninth Senate and we know you will continue to do us proud,” Omo-Agege said.
In his vote of thanks, Senator Bamidele said the appointment was a fulfillment of an ambition which he missed some seven years ago.
“The appointment into the Body of Benchers was something I had desired for a while. I missed it some seven years ago.
“Mr. President, I want to say that I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that your ability to identify potentials in my humble self and your decision to, without being lobbied but led by God, to make me chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal matters, no doubt, influenced this appointment.
“By God Grace I will not disappoint you. I will not disappoint our colleagues. I will not disappoint the National Assembly and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It takes just someone who believes in you to give you a platform but it takes you to decide not to take such a platform for granted. The assignment you have placed in my hand, I will not take it for granted,” Senator Bamidele said.
Nigerian Body of Benchers has the duty to regulate legal profession in Nigeria. The body also has the responsibility for the admission of prospective students into the Nigerian law school and the call of graduates of Law School to the Nigerian Bar.