Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has accused legal practitioners of being a major contributor to the growing culture of impunity in the country.
Justice Onnoghen indicted the senior advocates of Nigeria at the 2017 annual dinner/honour night of the Abuja chapter of the Body of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Legal profession, according to Nigeria’s Chief Justice, is part of the culture of impunity.
He asked senior lawyers to stop taking controversial briefs that will bring the legal profession into disrepute
For instance, Justice Onnoghen accused some of the senior lawyers of assisting politicians in heating up the polity and the judiciary as well as casting aspersion on judicial officers
Lawyers, according to him, need to discipline themselves and their stomach.
He said, “We should try our very best to leave the trouble waters of impunity because if you look inward, you will know that we are part and parcel of it. The legal profession is part of the culture of impunity.
“We represent politicians who come in with all sorts of jokers in the name of brief and we help them heat up the polity, heat up the judiciary and cast aspersions on judicial officers. We say all sorts of things on the pages of newspapers and television.”
The CJN further criticized lawyers who file frivolous suits and motions saying, “How much do you think a client will pay you that will worth you lowering your standard to the extent that you are not an appellant but you are prevailed upon to file a motion or file a notice of withdrawal of a case you never filed.
“You didn’t file yet you are briefed to file a motion to withdraw that appeal; a respondent withdrawing appeal filed by an appellant. And you are a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.”
Chairman of the Abuja branch of the Body of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Abdullahi Ibrahim told the senior lawyers that the future of the legal profession lies with them.