Lawyers Argue About Politics While The Judiciary Crumbles
It fascinates me when I read the news posted in lawyer’s platforms. Even more fascinating is how lawyers debate, comment and argue about politics, celebrities and other issues but conveniently avoid the issues that deal with our practice and our judiciary.
Lawyers avoid discussions around ethics reforms, judiciary reforms, general practice reforms and basically reforms of any meaning.
I often ask myself why? Why do lawyers avoid the tough questions? The answer is not far fetched; it’s easier to talk to someone else’s demons than to handle theirs. We deny our own challenges, ignore our responsibilities and walk away from our burdens as lawyers and judges. We are afraid to tell ourselves the truth…the truth that WE HAVE FAILED this Nation
BAT will be sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria yet the Body of Lawyers has not set one single agenda for the new administration, the judiciary has no agenda, it is doubtful whether the NJC nor the Body of Benchers, BOSAN or any other lawyer’s group for that matter has any plans of engagement in the next four years of this incoming government.
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More saddening is the role lawyers play in politics. Many lawyers are in government as public servants and civil servants as governors and law makers; both at the state and federal levels yet, we as a body of lawyers have failed to harness our potential.
What do we see instead, we see manipulations of all sorts, sabotage everywhere and at the end; we only succeed in ridiculing the profession further.
The judiciary is run by lawyers yet no reform institute or policy is on ground. Every single committee, commission, or agency within the judiciary is headed and run by the same set of people with titles. The chairman of NJC is a sitting CJN, the head of the SJSC is a sitting CJ and so on… Judges and lawyers serving actively in the justice sector are the same people heading committees and agencies that are responsible for reforms and oversight… It simply won’t work.
Already, we are anticipating the next set of NBA national executives, contestants are making themselves known while we struggle to feel the impact of the current ones…. “We will do better” is what they always say but guess what… They don’t do better!… Anyone who spends millions of naira to contest for and wins an election in NBA is not fit to lead ANYBODY!
I hope lawyers will start engaging and speak up especially the older lawyers. Like retired judges speaking up after retirement, senior lawyers should start speaking up, mentoring, monitoring and evaluating the profession, afterall if the profession is bad today it must have started with someone or some people within the profession yesterday.
I am convinced that a tree can make a forest IF THAT TREE BEARS FRUIT…. One person can change the narrative in this profession and make a forest of honesty and discipline within the legal profession.
Bayo Akinlade Esq.
Happy New Republic