HomeNewsAfe Babalola Laments Effects Of Economic Hardship On Lawyers

Afe Babalola Laments Effects Of Economic Hardship On Lawyers

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The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has expressed worry over the effects of economic hardship on lawyers in the country.

Babalola stated this on Tuesday during the 13th edition of the Annual Aare Afe Babalola Public Bar Lecture, instituted by Ado-Ekiti branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in honour of legal icon.

He expressed regrets that the economy of the country had been badly battered so much that lawyers, who were known to be comfortable financially before, are now living below subsistence level.

He said, “This is more apparent in states that are landlocked, where most of the people rely on agriculture for business. Lack of modern transportation system, deplorable roads, lack of electricity for business have also compounded the matter, the more.

“Today, those who believe in giving are less than those who want to receive. Farmers who want to plant are less than those who want to eat. Those who want to invest are far less than those who want to consume. Those who want to produce are less than those who want to consume.

“Those who want to establish businesses are less than those who are seeking for employment. Those who want to engage in politics are more than those who want to work on their own. No wonder politics has become the most lucrative business in town today.

“Lawyers who want to go to the Bench nowadays are more than those who want to remain in practice. Lawyers who insist on consultation fees are less than those who insist on the time-honoured practice.”

In his lecture titled, ‘The Judiciary, yesterday, today and tomorrow’, the Provost, College of Law at ABUAD, Prof. Tunde Yebisi has advocated that the remuneration of judges, including those of inferior courts of records must be adequate and progressively increased to always be at par with those of the president, governors, and other State actors.

Prof. Yebisi advised that such remuneration should be a continuous charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and disbursed, directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said instead of using serving judges, retired judges, or respectable lawyers, preferably Senior Advocates of Nigeria, (SANs) should henceforth constitute judges of electoral panels, to reduce incidences of coerce, intimidation, bribery and corruption, as well as keep the few judges available, in functional service

Yebisi added there was currently a death of judges in the nation’s courts, saying many one should be employed, while the few ones available should be put into effective use, so as to also tackle cases of delay in the administration of of justice.

“The senior members of the Bar, especially those who are young should be encouraged to join the bench, while modern IT facilities should be installed in the courts to facilitate quick dispensation of justice.

“Apart from encouraging or expanding the jurisdiction of the inferior courts to handle small claims, it is advised that not all cases should go beyond the Court of Appeal, and sometimes, the High Court.”

According to him, when judicial officers complained of attempts to bribe them, as was the case with the Chairman of the Election Petition Tribunal in Kano, such complaints should be thoroughly proved, and appropriate sanctions, imposed

“In addition, assets declared by persons holding public officers should be taken more serious, and claims, meticulously investigated.

The Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Ado -Ekiti Branch, Lawrence Fasanmi said Babalola’s immense contributions to the promotion of legal education and practice in the country, warranted the honour of the annual lecture, instituted during the administration of one of his predecessors, Owoseni Ajayi.

Chairman of the occasion and royal father of the day, who doubles as Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju, commended the farsightedness of the NBA, in instituting the annual lecture in honour of Babalola, who he described as a leading light in the nation’s legal field.

He said the celebrator’s torrents of accomplishments in law, and his myrads of contributions to various NBA branches across the country, never made him to regret being motivated to train one of his children to become a lawyer.

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