On Sunday, November 12th, 2017, I went to church with my husband and children in the morning, came back together in the afternoon, around 3.40pm .He returned for dinner programme in the church later. As soon as my husband got to church around 4pm, I was reliably informed that he went upstairs to discuss with the Senior Pastor, then he went to get other Pastors for the usual Prayer before the programme starts. He went straight to the children hall, pulled a chair, sat under the fan, requesting water to be poured on him. Within seconds, he started gasping. Immediately, he was carried in a car to the hospital. While still battling with his life on their way to the hospital, he said “oooh! I want my wife to be strong” and said thank you Jesus three times, then gave up the ghost.”
That was the wife of late Ikechukwu Ikeji narrating what you may call the last story she was told about her husband before he passed on.
The case of Honourable Justice A.C Chioma, judge of the Abia State High Court followed almost immediately. In the same manner, he was said to have sat to conduct cases earlier in the day only to die in the night. According to the report, Justice Chioma died of heart attack. He was a healthy sound and highly intellectual judge. The list is longer!
No doubt, the Legal Profession is very demanding. As a Legal Practitioner, you are required to do so much from reading tons of books, do a lot of writing (drafting pleadings, drafting briefs of arguments, preparing agreements, etc), attending several meetings (negotiating, reviewing strategies, client interviews, pre-trial briefings) to attending court sessions (a lawyer may be in court for several hours in a day). The list is not exhaustive.
In the midst of all the demands of the profession, a lawyer is not isolated from the hassles of the society. Family pressure, work pressure, societal imbalance, religious demands and a host of other things are tangential to the existence of a lawyer in the society. The combination of all this definitely leaves a Legal Practitioner stressed. if not properly managed, it would lead to some serious health issues or fatal collapse.
The incessant news of death amongst lawyers in recent times is very alarming and lawyers should begin to devise a means of striking a balance between work and healthy lifestyle. This piece is in no way attempting to undermine the ultimate power of the Creator in taking lives whenever He pleases. We as humans however owe ourselves the duty of staying healthy. That is also a divine call.
We recently published a piece on Healthy Lawyer “Put Some Motion in Your Motions: 5 Office Exercises for Lawyers”
In that piece we had highlighted the dangers inherent in the long hours of sitting at one place either while in court or in the office studying and preparing processes, reviewing agreements and all the paper works which makes lawyers’ work literally sedentary. We had advised on a few easy and work place exercises to adapt to assist in combating the sedentary nature of the profession. (Please check the easy steps here)
In addition to the above, it is important that as lawyers, we make it a point of duty to assess our system and be in total control of what goes on in there.
– Eat healthy
– Don’t drive when you are tired.
– Take a bike/cab rather than work long distance.
– Don’t skip breakfast. While waiting for your matter to be called, go get some snacks.
– Do regular checkups.
More importantly, speak to a Doctor for proper counseling.
As easy as the above may sound, they may be the only way to avoid this sudden and scary deaths.
May God continue to bless all Lawyers and reward their efforts and sacrifices.