–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Albert OGRAKA:
NIGERIAN lawyers have been urged to appliy international best practices to distinguish themselves as legal practitioners of repute.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, FCNA, CrFA, said this at the Annual Law Week of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Oleh Branch on Thursday, October 14, 2021.
Bashorun Askia, while evaluating the legal profession on the topic, “An Appraisal of The Contemporary Nigerian Lawyer: Development or Regression”, disclosed that despite the flaws that had been its bane, there was still need to explore new frontiers and devise new methodologies of achieving result.
He listed faulty foundation in legal education, trust deficit in honesty and integrity, undue delay in courts, jack of all legal trades as major bane in the legal practice but encouraged that innovation and legal dexterity, maintaining the code of conduct of the profession as well as welfare of the lawyers would put the Nigerian lawyer on top of his game.
The Certified and Licensed Forensic Accountant, however, enjoined the contemporary Nigerian lawyer to defend and protect the profession at all times, especially by organizing meaningful resistances against acts inimical to effective, standard best legal practices and justice delivery.
According to him, “The Nigerian legal profession has undoubtedly undergone significant changes since the era of colonialism when it encountered the British legal system. At inception, it did seem to be a sign of progress against the backdrop of the need to bring the justice system at par with international best practices.
“No doubt the contemporary lawyer has been on an evolutionary trajectory since the first indigenous set of law graduates was churned out of the Nigerian Law School way back in October 1963. Quite a lot in advocacy, social engineering, fundamental rights enforcement and administrative justice have been recorded by him, which is salutary. Without sounding immodest, the place and import of the lawyer in the Nigerian society has been remarkable.
“Development, we are told, is an organic concept measured in tangible and intangible. The criteria for determining whether the lawyer is progressing or receding will depend on what is required as his roles and responsibilities toward society. For me, I am of the opinion that the contemporary Nigerian lawyer can improve his current performance by taking cognizance of and electing to be guided by the rules of professional conduct.
“He must not be tired of innovating and resetting his engagement mode in sync with international best practices. Law is dynamic and the practitioner must not be so different. The challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that upended the entire world system – economy, all tiers of government, sport, entertainment, politics – have of necessity birthed new ways and means of doing things. The Nigerian lawyer must therefore be on top of his game, else he may blur off the radar.
“It is all about exploring new frontiers and devising new methodologies of achieving result. If the Nigerian lawyer takes these snippets highlighted above to heart and applies them in his practice, knowing that the market is already getting choked up, perhaps he can easily distinguish himself as a practitioner of repute.”
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