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  • Lawyers In Messy Bars And Judges On Broken Benches

    Image resultThe first time my friend entered a court, he decided he would be a lawyer. You talk of ambience, you talk of honour, you talk of respect and integrity, the profession of law had it all then.

    Deep in knowledge, rich in intellect and profound in native intelligence, my barrister friend is a complete gentle man who is at peace with himself and his environment and who you would ordinarily have expected to be made a SAN many years back. But over the years, I have searched in vain for his name on the silk list. I wondered then why such a man with over 3 decades in practice is not in that privilege group but now I wonder no more.

    I have searched in vain for his name on the silk list. I wondered then why such a man with over 3 decades in practice is not in that privilege group but now I wonder no more.

    I have gotten the answer; my friend is too noble to be a SAN.The wigs are no more white and the gowns are in shreds, no thanks to the barristers themselves.my friend is too noble to be a SAN.The wigs are no more white and the gowns are in shreds, no thanks to the barristers themselves.

    When the respected Guardian Newspapers appeared on the street early eighties, they had a policy– simply mister. They were going to address everybody as simply a mister because according to them, much of the honours were debased and not merited. But Rotimi Williams was not going to take that. He insisted he had earned any honour bestowed on him anywhere in the world and therefore asked to be addressed as such.  The Guardian had no choice but to defer to the Egba chief. You talk of unblemished diamond hard

    But Rotimi Williams was not going to take that. He insisted he had earned any honour bestowed on him anywhere in the world and therefore asked to be addressed as such.  The Guardian had no choice but to defer to the Egba chief. You talk of unblemished diamond hard intefrity. Mandela type of integrity.

    Now, Chief Williams might not have been a saint but it was inconceivable for anybody to think that he would broker justice with millions of Naira in his boot. We perceived him to be too decent for such. Or would a Sofola hide suspects in his car only to tell the court a Cock and Bull story.Image result

    It appears the golden era is gone.

    During Governors Aregbesola’s electoral battle in Oshogbo, a SAN was sending text messages to a judge in court during court proceedings. It was the judge who was telling the SAN what to say. That guy is not just still a practising lawyer but also a SAN. That judge sat on the bench for good three years before he was slapped on the wrist with a retirement. No atonement for sins committed.

    That guy is not just still a practising lawyer but also a SAN. That judge sat on the bench for good three years before he was slapped on the wrist with a retirement. No atonement for sins committed.

    The other day, a SAN was arraigned in court for trying to bribe a judge and pronto all the SANs in the country filed behind him in court to intimidate the judge not finding out the merit or otherwise of the case. This was the same SAN who locked up two accused persons in his car to prevent the law having access to them.

    Where is the nobleness, where is the integrity, where a judged writes two judgements for a case. One judgement for the litigant and the other for the defence depending who is ready to play ball. They say the law is an ass but I do not agree, the lawyers made it so.

    Professor Sagay was right, we have had judges in the true sense of it. We had them enough to spare for other African countries as their CJs. We had them with enough integrity to spare that they could head the world court at Hague. Not even an Umaru Shinkafi, the respected late chief spy, backed by a battalion of soldiers would dare to barge into the residence of Justice Kayode Esho or that of

    Not even an Umaru Shinkafi, the respected late chief spy, backed by a battalion of soldiers would dare to barge into the residence of Justice Kayode Esho or that of Oputa or Ajibola in the night, unless they were invited.

    Now our Supreme Court judges hide money in unexpected places in the house like petty thieves. One of them even claimed he made his millions from Rice business. Rice ko,

    Rice ko, Ogede ni. You ask when a Judge becomes a competitor to Dangote. Just this morning EFCC busted one of them for hospital admission scam.

     

     

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    Cases that are so straight are bent the other way by them. They give judgements they don’t justice. And that is why some governors are now sitting on corpses of the people they are supposed to govern and birth in their blood.

    They did not have enough facts to convict Ibori in Nigeria but the same facts convicted him in London.

    They said Ibori James is different from James Ibori even when attached photographs are of the same person.

    When one SW governor ransacked a court, tore the judge’s gown, and flogged him out of the hallowed chambers, mute was the response from NJC and NBA. They have now suddenly found their voices when DSS visited their

    They have now suddenly found their voices when DSS visited their ogas residences where millions of Naira, dollars and even rupees were hidden in ungodly places.

    Some people argue that only NJC can discipline a judge. Where were they when the same council recommended that Justice Salami be reinstated, an advice not heeded by GEJ.

    Now, I ask them. If a judge wakes up on the wrong side of his bed and shoots two neighbours dead, we should report him to NJC?

    Physicians heal yourself, so says the bible (Luke 4:23). The lawyers have refused to heed that advice. As they themselves say in their profession, they have slept on their right. We will do the cleansing for them.

    Let the DSS go after the lawyers and judges. Even if the NJC does not suspend them, the DSS should wait outside the court, lay ambush for them, grab them by the collar of their gowns, and drag them on the floor if they ask for it.

    Hurl them to other courts for trial. There must still be some bold and upright men there who are ashamed of this conduct and who would stake anything and everything to try them. They do not deserve any respect.

    Please let commentators spare me lines such as ‘it cannot happen in US’ or ‘civilised communities do not behave like that or statements like ‘it is against the rule of law’ Is it within the rule of law to give a perpetual injection not to arrest an ex-governor? Unless a miracle happens, that ex-governor will never answer for billions he stole in Rivers state.

    Read  The oldest wig called to the bar

    Our country is in a mess. A drastic problem needs a drastic solution. If an illness requires surgery, the doctor goes for his scalpel not antibiotics. You do not treat the ulcer of the leg of a diabetic patient with antibiotics; medics say amputation is the only way to save the patient’s life.

    Nigeria situation is not orthodox and therefore needs unorthodox method to solve. When our judges live and behave like judges, we will treat them like judges.

    The Yorubas have a say. When an old man ties cobs of dry corn around his waist he should be ready to befriend fouls.

    If their bars are messy, they should expect flies and roaches and when they have broken their benches as they have done, they should be ready to sit on the floor as they did in DSS detention rooms.

    Otunba Jide omiyale

    Otunba Jide omiyale

    Chief Editor at Naija Biz Ideas
    I am Otunba Jide Omiyale. I run this site with other professionals,including Accountants, Lawyers, Commercial Bankers and Investment Bankers
    Otunba Jide omiyale

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