Most of you might have read with utter disbelief how some lawyers (Barristers and solicitors of the Supreme Court) turned themselves into “covid 19” hoodlums and motor park “agberos” and behaved in the most despicable manner yesterday that even the local touts watching shook their heads and were in awe of such behaviors.
It is everyone’s knowledge that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), an umbrella body for all lawyers in Nigeria is currently having its Annual General Convention. This year’s is taking place in Lagos as last year’s took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
I am ashamed to admit that what you heard or read about the incident is true, stop doubting it. Yes, it is awful and quite unfortunate. What led to this act of gross indiscipline amongst some lawyers was that there was a shortage of some conference materials and some lawyers who previously paid for those materials were not given theirs.
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Some of these lawyers during an event in between the convention went berserk and decided to start scattering and destroying things and causing a serious commotion in protest of them not being given the conference materials. It was so intense that even the NBA officials were not able to talk them out of it or broker peace, it took the intervention of some security forces to douse the tension and riot.
It was an awful sight. I say this with a heavy heart that I have never seen anything like this, I have never been this embarrassed as a lawyer. Lawyers address themselves as learned men or noble men but the conduct of some of them during the conference proves that some of them are far from being noble or learned and some need a mental and psychological evaluation.
One of the core tenets and fundamentals of being a lawyer and you are well taught about it before you are admitted into the Bar is “comportion”. Comporting oneself especially when you are in a public place so as not to bring disrepute to the noble legal profession.
If lawyers that pride themselves as one of the elitist groups in society are to behave like this, how do you expect politicians, market women, taxi drivers, and even doctors to behave?
This is not the first time some lawyers are throwing caution to the wind and proposed in their mischievous hearts to ridicule themselves and the noble legal profession publicly. Just a few months back, the news carried that some lawyers decided to put a hold on the verbal argument inside the courtroom and exchange blows that one of the lawyers got his head broken and his blood flowed like the fountain of justice.
This is the desecration of the highest order, desecrating the profession that most of us cherish, adore, and admire so much; abusing the profession that enjoys societal respect and regard of the highest order.
I am hopeful that the NBA will make sure that incidents like these will never occur again, never again. It should never be heard that some lawyers are arrested and prosecuted for disruption of public peace and destruction of public properties but if it comes to that all the culprits that are involved must be made to face the music.
Stanley Alieke, Esq. is a Nigerian quintessential lawyer, public interest advocate and a media personality. He constantly writes on law/politics relating topics and makes constant appearances on TV and on radio talking about law related topics and advocating for the interest of the masses.
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