Today, we hear the views of a Scientist and Public Commentator on the brilliance or crookedness of Nigerian Lawyers! If you don’t like his views, your reactions are welcomed. Sit back and enjoy. From the horse’s mouth, sorry I meant the mouth of a scientist.
The legal profession is a highly revered profession. It has refused to fall from the pedestal it has been placed on since time immemorial.
However, talking about the profession in Nigeria gives it a new front: not good for the optics. Using the percentage of the type of people that Nigerian lawyers are able to save from going to jail and the type of people they are not able to keep away from jail make me look at them with disdain.
I have no respect for a lawyer that his or her strength only shows when defending a poor man over another poor man. Show me your strength by helping a poor man snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat over a giant.
Speaking of giants in our society today, we are talking about those in the government, those whom their pockets are deep, and even the government itself. The only times I read about a poor citizen winning millions or billions in compensation over giants are on the intentional scene:
“Sarah Paul won a 2 million dollar suite over the state of California yesterday.”
Contrast it to news emanating from our dailies, the headlines alone makes you want to snigger. Since Nigerians don’t always sue the government as they wholeheartedly consider it to always end in futility, the common headlines goes as follow:
“A court in Ikeja sent a man to 6 months in jail for mishandling his boss’s 50 thousand Naira.”
But who has the magic wand to prevent all these comedies? Nigerian lawyers.
I know what you may be thinking. The poor man is guilty for fleecing his boss of 50 thousand Naira right? Yes, but you can still save him from jail on the ground of some technicalities.
But how convenient is it to hear of a prominent person going to jail over millions or billions of Naira? Very rare! Who are the ones helping them to evade jail? Nigerian lawyers. Base on what grounds? Some technicalities.
Winning a high profile case needs a good lawyer right? Yes it does. Only the rich are able to afford the best lawyers right? No, in a sane country, but here in Nigeria, yes. Are Nigerian lawyers crooks or brilliant?
They are brilliant crooks. They make money from the poor people when they go against themselves; work assiduously to keep the big thieves from going to jail at the detriment of the poor people. Am scientist. I however understand there are gray areas in the law profession, but the picture doesn’t lie when you look at the Nigerian system.
Owoyemi Olamilekan is a Scientist and Commentator on Public affairs. He could be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
Postscripts: We invite and shall publish other contributions from other readers of the blog on their experience as either lawyers, law students or other members of the society on their experiences with or views about lawyers. Peace.
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