Nollywood Continues to Embarrass the Legal Profession

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In a piece titled “Portraying the True Nigerian Legal Environment – a Challenge to Nollywood” Mr. Daniel Bulusson captured all that needs to be said about the Nigerian Movie industry and their continued embarrassment on the legal profession in Nigeria. Each time Nigerian movies have court or law related scene they portray the profession as an unserious and shabby one.

Foreign legal movies would showcase an almost perfect legal system which gives its audience a clear insight on how the country’s legal system works. In Nigeria, legal movies create a distortion and funny apology out of a very serious profession.

The pictures displayed at the beginning of this write up are clips from an award winning sitcom “Tinsel.” The directors and producers and those behind the scene have won series of awards for creating world class movies. Sometimes one wonders if the embarrassing legal scenes are deliberate having been informed that there are actually real lawyers playing roles in the movie.

It is only in the Nigerian movie industry that you see the following abnormalities:

  • A lawyer in his office fully robbed wig, gown and bib discussing legal issues with client?
  • A female lawyer appearing in court dressed with wig and gown on a pair of trousers
  • A judge wearing collaret like baby bib
  • A magistrate court convicting and sentencing an armed robber to death by hanging
  • An arbitration proceeding sitting on a criminal matter
  • A lawyer addressing the court wearing robe without wig
  • A female lawyer wearing wig, gown and male bib.

You may add your own.

Ending with the words of Daniel Bulusson, the movie industry ought to be reflective of the society it portrays, in the instant case, the legal environment. When a script involves a scene that involves the legal profession, be it a law firm, a lawyer offering legal service, or a court room trial, a legal professional should be properly briefed and consulted to get the true picture of things as it is in the Nigerian legal atmosphere.

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Looking at the big picture, a proper description of things as they happen in the society, and paying attention to details would help the image of both the Nigerian movie industry and the legal profession. Imagine the Nigerian movie industry showing the legal practice of legal practitioners like Femi Falana (SAN), J.K. Gadzama (SAN), O.C.J. Okocha (SAN) and the likes to the movie watchers around the world.

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