POOR QUALITY OF THE NIGERIAN JUDICIARY.
Though I have a deep interest in law and legal matters, I am yet to come across the Nigerian equivalent of the QUALITY ASSURANCE SCHEME (QASA) of the SOLICITOR REGULATORY AUTHORITY(SRA) OF ENGLAND or indeed any formal scheme to recertify or revalidate Nigerian lawyers. If there is any formal evidence- based verifiable programme for compulsory continuing legal education or continuing professional development, I am not aware of it. We can only imbibe a fraction of what we are taught, recall only a fraction of what we learn and the percentage of recallable rememberable facts depletes exponentially with time.
In addition, old 'facts' hitherto held as gold standards soon become obsolete and sometimes irrelevant as new facts predicated on new trends evolve. I have, over the years, had cause to interact with many Nigerian lawyers in informal settings and formally, as a client. With all sense of responsibility, I feel compelled to state that most of them are impatient, robotically stereotyped and lazy. Impatient to listen attentively to clients, stereotype as to be unwilling or unable to view issues from other perspectives, and their palpable laziness to do literature searches and other research which bear relevance to the matter at hand...
They also tend to be more devotedly loyal to their colleagues on the opposing side (in cases) than their paying clients. They are wont to act with brazen impunity visiting clients with naked illegality even at litigation.
They forget that as presumedly responsible officers of the court, they are duty-bound to guide the court aright to dispense justice....fairly and equitably. And that doing otherwise is to pervert the course of justice....negating the very essence of the law and the judicial process.
They are sorely corrupt....usually in close concert with judicial officers. An individual once opined that a wise client would employ a lawyer that "knows the judge" rather than the one that "knows the law"....a crude pointer to the fact that our erstwhile temples of justice have transfigured into mere markets where justice is sold to the highest bidder. And so when thugs in governors' garbs elect to slap our judges around even within the precints of our courts, and court gates are thence barred....locking out judges out of courts....and culprits are sworn in by the same judiciary, what can be worse?
The Chief Justice of the Federation ordered the reopening of our barred courts but his orders fell on deaf ears! His other instructions were equally disobeyed! Because as we got enraged by the disrepute to which our judiciary was so subjected, we forgot that this bribe-guzzling arm of government having failed to conduct itself with probity and nobility, had not commanded respect from the citizenry! The said thug merely trampled on our judges in the mud he found them!
Dr Tosin Akindele is a Lagos-based Medical Practitioner, a former Secretary of AGPMPN Ikorodu zone, a former Secretary of the Quackery Committee of AGPMPN Lagos State Branch, founder of Analytical Minds, a good health advocate and social critic.