The Role of Lawyers in the Society as Gatekeepers And Nation Builders

Someone, actually a lawyer said that lawyers need to stop or avoid defending kidnappers and armed robbers. But my response to that is that, It goes deeper and wider than to stop defending kidnappers and armed robbers, to all other heinous crimes of
*Financial corruption;
*Other corrupt practices;
*Election rigging;
*Economic crimes like cheating, 419, criminal breach breach of trust; Etc

When lawyers side with and desperately defend criminals in order to set them free, what do they expect will become the reality of the society? Of course, the society will become polluted and dangerous for living. That’s what has become of Nigeria today. The many years of connivance and strong partnership of lawyers with criminals to weaken and mess up the legal system and judicial system of Nigeria has led to whatever Nigeria is today.

We see most lawyers who, after collecting legal fee desperately try to establish the innocence of their clients at all costs, even when they know that they are guilty of the offence they are charged with and the lawyers frustrate the prosecution and sometimes compromise the prosecution and the presiding Judge to get their client freed. And when they succeed to set their accused clients free, they are happy, celebrating and declaring that they have had victory for their client, when in essence, they have just succeeded in killing the society by instalment. Anytime a lawyer who sides a criminal or wrongdoer wins in court, he has just destroyed the society by an instalment. And imagine the quantum of destruction when we probably have thousands of lawyers doing that daily through the Nigerian legal system, what do you thing that Nigeria would be? Different from what she is today? That’s daydreaming and wishful thinking.

Is there a place for lawyers in criminal and civil litigation or in the legal system? Yes of course, there is. How? Lawyers who are originally supposed to be ministers in the temple of justice, are supposed to defend the oppressed and all those that have been wrongly accused of crimes that they did not commit. That’s the main duty of lawyers, so that the innocent people do not get punished by their enemies using the judicial system against them. But for a lawyer to desperately exonerate a guilty criminal and set him free, he’s actively destroying the society and the country and he’ll also be eventually affected with the results of a crime riddled society.

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As for civil litigation(civil cases), lawyers are supposed to ensure that properties of genuine owners are not taken away from them by government and other evil minded people. This is what justice requires. But for a lawyer to represent an evil client who’s trying to snatch the property of an innocent and genuine owner is evil. That’s not justice and that’s not decent and that’s not part of the work of a lawyer.

The decadence of Nigeria is squarely at the doorstep of lawyers and the police and they’ll suffer it along with other Nigerians. Nigeria will never be good unless lawyers and the police decide to be good in doing their works properly. This is the truth and nothing can change it; hypocrisy, deceit and pretences cannot change this truth. So, it is up to Nigerian lawyers to wake up from the darkness and crossover to the place of light and lead their country to light and recovery.

As usual, I am yours sincerely,

– Job Dangana
A Lawyer and
Nation Builder.
May 16, 2024

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