One day a news broke with the heading “Bill Seeking to Repeal the LPA has Passed Second Reading” The news went viral. One lawyer, (name withheld) followed the news to everywhere it was shared to post the comment below:
Lawyers should be informed that the bill that passed 2nd reading yesterday, sponsored by senator godswill akpabio is NOT the same with “Legal Profession Regulation Act” which is still at the draft stage and yet to be presented by the NBA. The one presented by Godswill Akpabio is secret and hidden from the public. (All emphasis mine)
After I read the above comment, I didn’t know which one was worse. The news of “whatever Bill” having passed second reading or the fact that there is a lawyer somewhere consoling all of us with another fact that there is indeed a bill seeking to provide one way or the other for the welfare of LAWYERS which is Secret and hidden from the public (lawyers inclusive). The spontaneous reaction to the above are a barrage of rhetorics; Who drafted the bill? Who made input? Who is championing its passage? What is in this bill for lawyers? What are the possible turn offs? How come this bill is enjoying so much attention and speed? Why is NBA keeping quiet if indeed we do not know that this bill is being facilitated for passage? The worst of all what is the content of the bill? All these questions rose in our various minds and died. Till this moment, most lawyers (if not all) do not know; the name of the bill before the senate and the content of the bill chikena!
They have hypnotized us again and we are all watching football and debating Zimbabwe. Everybody is looking away; ancestors, seniors, juniors o. We are all watching. When the one that does not concern us happen, we start queuing at the doors of media houses to give informed view. There is no reason why every little gathering of legal practitioners should not be discussing the issues relating to a “mystery Bill that is secret and hidden” which has passed second reading before the senate. Hmmm!
As I was about to rest from the headache of that one o, I was minding my business as usual, strolling through the corridors of the Registry of Lagos High Court Ikeja and I saw another one. A notice with heading “Notice to Counsel” I moved closer, there were 5 items. Items 1-4 made sense. Then the 5th reads; “NO 5. COUNSEL ARE ENJOINED TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE COURT, THE PHOTOCOPIES OF AUTHORITIES CITED.” Few things I can deduce from this
- Lagos High Court doesn’t have a library that houses all the law reports
- Lagos Judges do not have Research Assistants
- Research Assistants are lazy
- We want to create a new crime “altering judicial pronouncements”
I don’t know, whichever one tickles your fancy, choose.
On notice, when you cite authorities in Lagos High Court, biko do yourself a favour, attach the law report even if you cite 30 cases, just look for wheel barrow please!
Finally, I went to the Court of Appeal Lagos to jejely file my Appellant’s Brief. I bought flash drive and did as directed. Collect processes from me na, who sigh! There is a new rule, my flash drive does not qualify. And the lady simply said to me. “we do not accept this make of flash drive, please provide another one. We have acceptable ones for sale for …
I leave you to guess! I won’t say more on this one because I am sure it is a developing story. We would have time to address it again soon. Trust me.