Gbajabiamila to lawyers: Fix dysfunctions corrupting legal profession

The speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged Nigerian lawyers to fix evident dysfunctions that corrupt the legal profession and undermine its prestige.

Gbajabiamila gave the advice Monday in his keynote address presented at the 2021 Nigerian Bar Association-Section on Legal Practice (NBA-SLP) annual conference held at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

Gbajabiamila who was represented by the chairman, House Committee on Judiciary and member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium federal consituency, Mr. Onofiok Luke, stated that as lawyers and citizens, they need to make effort to try to do things differently for the profession and the country.

He noted that the nation is desperately in need of honest brokers to mediate a national dialogue to resolve the issues and give the nation a new lease of life.

He said: “This conference is coming at a time in our country when we are confronted with and must answer critical questions about the terms of our nationhood and the conditions for a sustained national union.

“Throughout history, it has often fallen to lawyers to do a lot of the heavy lifting of nation-building. That is still the case today.

We have a lot of work to do, and the destiny of our nation may well depend on how well we do the job that this moment requires of.

“The work of fixing our country must begin in our own house, within our profession. Before we can begin to play our full and proper role as lawyers in the difficult, yet necessary task of nation building, we have to fix those evident dysfunctions that corrupt the Nigerian legal profession and undermine its prestige.

“When in a world of inexorable change we deliberately, or by inaction, maintain fidelity to outmoded practices and dated conventions for their own sake, we do ourselves a disservice and risk becoming relics rather than the innovators we ought to be for our sakes and the benefit of our nation”

In his remarks, the guest of honour and governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, asked if it is by any chance possible that the current challenges with the Nigerian project are a consequence of the justice that Lawyers fail to dispense in the past.