Kwara CJ advises lawyers to uphold ethical standards
The Chief Judge of Kwara, Justice Suleiman Kawu, has stressed the need for lawyers to ensure higher ethical standards and honesty in the discharge of their professional dealings.
Kawu gave the advice while declaring open a one-day seminar organised by the Nigerian Bar Association Ilorin branch, titled, 'Continuing Legal Education Committee,' in Ilorin on Wednesday.
The Kwara CJ who was represented by Justice Adebayo Yusuf, said upholding ethical practices would not only restore faith but also boost the integrity of the judicial system.
He expressed worry over the unethical practice by some lawyers, advising them not to allow the love for material gains to lure them into covering illegal activities of their clients.
The guest lecturer at the event, Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN, in his paper titled, 'Rethinking Ethical Values in the practice of Law: The Role of Lawyers,' urged lawyers to build their practice on the existing ethics of the profession.
He expressed dismay over the news of lawyers giving their seals to non-lawyers, saying lawyers involved in unethical practices must be de-robed and prosecuted.
"Although, there may be other reasons, it is apparent that the sad decline in adherence to the ethics of the legal profession by legal practitioners in Nigeria is not because of the absence of laws and regulations, but mainly as a result of inefficient and ineffective enforcement.
"We must all be ready to be guardians of the legal profession, such that we should all be willing to play the role of whistleblowers on the unsavoury conducts of colleagues in the profession. We are all responsible for the continued existence of the respect and pride of place the noble profession has always enjoyed. It is either we do what is right or we say bye to our beloved and cherished profession," Ali said.
The chairman of the Ilorin branch of NBA Continuing Legal Education Committee, Mr. Kehinde Eleja, SAN, alleged that some lawyers serve as conduit pipes for delivery of gratification to investigators in criminal matters.
Eleja said the practice of lawyers standing as sureties for their clients in criminal matters was becoming worrisome.
He said, "Cases of unfair dealings within the rank of lawyers, failure to observe good faith and fair dealings with fellow lawyers, failure to adhere to the prescribed scale regarding the remuneration for services, indulging in illegal collection of money, subtle advertisement, display of flamboyant or lousy signs and notices, extrajudicial statements on pending cases in court that is calculated to or is reasonably capable of prejudicing or interfering with the fair trial or court judgment thereon and indulging in any act that is calculated to gain or that has the appearance of gaining special personal consideration of favour from the judge are some of the growing unethical practices among lawyers."