Today, the fight against corruption has been so consistent and effective against some personalities including some lawyers in different ways. Some lawyers have also given their approval and support for the fight against corruption in Nigeria. It might be very surprising as I have reasoned, to discover that perhaps with due respect, some of those lawyers who support this fight against corruption too actually have their corrupt practices in one way or the other where they have been involved.
This paper is a piece of advice for those lawyers having criminal or corruption records yet to be discovered to clean their records very well and repent at least, with an iota of shame before their evil acts will expose them and put them behind bars, hence, they should not also attempt throwing a stone as the negative effect on them could be destructive!
Some lawyers might think of themselves as being smart when they were able to maneuver their ways by either bribing court’s staff, bribing bailiff, or even to the extent of settling nefariously with judicial officers. They even send their juniors in the office on a nefarious errand to do what they would have done as agents and accomplices. They jubilate over the success of their evil acts. They care not whether the system is being spoiled or destroyed by their evil conducts so far they can achieve their evil act.
Even where a client has a bad case, they are proud to convince their clients who are also a pal in crime that if he could deposit some large amount of money or property to their names, they would be able to bribe this and that, so and so! They ride on big cars, live in mansions somewhere such as: Asokoro, Maitama, Gwarinpa estate, Aso Drive, among other reputable areas of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and in such places such as: Lekki, Vitoria Island, Ajah, Banana estate/island of Lagos, among other reputable areas of Lagos State. They live in the glasshouse but they forgot! Alas! One day is near when all these big things would crash in pieces and become debris that they would not be able to live therein! That is ‘nemeses! Are they saying that they have so soon forgotten that some judicial officers have been dismissed from the judicial office and some lawyers have been sent to jail (even Senior Advocates of Nigeria have had their silk stripped off them!)?! They think because they are seniors at the bar then they have immunity from facing the negative consequences of their evil acts! God does not look at who you are when he decides justice! So, it is better for those lawyers who keep spoiling the legal profession with their evil acts (despite that they know the evils that they do, they still come to the public to canvass for fight against corruption even though that they know that they are suspects of this crime against humanity) to repent and amend their ways! They should always remember ‘Nemesis’ and Retribution’!
The word ‘Nemesis’ according to the on-line Webster Dictionary, means ‘an opponent or enemy that is very difficult to defeat’. And in its full meaning, means ‘one that inflicts retribution or vengeance’. While the word ‘retribution’ has been defined by this same Dictionary as ‘punishment for doing something wrong’. And in its full meaning, means 1. Recompense, reward. 2. The dispensing or receiving of reward or punishment especially in the hereafter. 3. Something gave or exacted in recompense; especially: punishment’. That is why there have been several complaints against some lawyers or lawyers generally to the extent that lawyers have generated the attention of laymen in the society to the conclusion and of course the fallacy or untrue conclusion that ‘all lawyers are liars’, which might have definitely been the result of the public’s perception of lawyers or the perceptions of some few of lawyers derived or formed from their experiences and or contacts with those lawyers who might have committed one misconduct or the other in their official or professional capacity, the attitude which has rendered some few of those lawyers punished and or penalized by the Disciplinary Committee of the Legal Profession after having been found guilty of professional misconducts in their official or professional capacity.
Furthermore, the conducts and attitudes of some lawyers are to such determination that they can do anything to earn money, even if such conduct is perceived by a reasonable man or the code of professional ethics as injustice or an act unbecoming of a legal practitioner. It is very important for us as lawyers to always uphold the rule of law and promote the cause of justice even if doing so is against the client being defended.
Most importantly too, lawyers need to really learn from those that have already been subject to disciplinary measures for their improper conducts all in the name of defending clients and at the end of the day, the client remains but they remain no more as lawyers but as an ordinary man, having lost their practicing license for unprofessional conducts. Rule 1 of the Rules of Professional Conducts for Legal Practitioners, 2007-herein after referred to as the RPC- is leading code for lawyers which provides thus ‘A lawyer shall uphold and observe the rule of law, promote and foster the cause of justice, maintain a high standard of professional conduct, and shall not engage in any conduct which is unbecoming of a legal practitioner’. Also see Rules: 15, 17, 19, 23, 24, 27 and 37 of the RPC. The RPC is in a way compelling lawyers in their professional capacity.
Nevertheless, the ‘nemesis’ or ‘retribution’ is much more admonishing where or when it concerns the right or interest of an oppressor. There are several ways through which a lawyer can offend or oppress another person or even his fellow learned colleague which he might not even take his time to consider the consequences of his actions. Some lawyers from my experiences have seen the legal profession, where they have been called upon or consulted for professional duties, as a do or die affair. They do not care to tell lies, even when they know that they are telling lies. They encourage their client who was initially honest and sincere with the facts that he supplied to the counsel but only for the roles of the council that he becomes a liar.
They can do the unimaginable! They can raise defenses that they know by themselves are false and frivolous or untrue defenses. All these efforts are made because of money to fulfill personal gains or benefits. Even where there are warnings against such conduct, they refuse or neglect or reject or fail to realize why they should do the right thing, in the national interest. Unfortunately, what is right is determined by themselves (those lawyers) personally and to them, ‘the end always justifies the means’.
Furthermore, what those lawyers who carry out unprofessional conduct should know from this paper is that ‘nemesis’ does exist! And all the evil deeds that they carry out all in the name of professionalism are ‘nemesis’ which would sooner or later catch up with them. The oppression done to the victim would also be a ‘nemesis’ that catches up on them if they do not repent and amend their evil conduct. They wrongly think in their myopic view that without engaging or involving in such evil acts, they cannot succeed in their material gains.
This is true sense is as such because of the way that they believe. Some lawyers might be free thinkers, while some are religious. It is true in the religious belief either Christianity or Islam that the hereafter is certain and will be a day of Accountability and Judgement. The Day of Recompense. While some lawyers believe more in this day and the divine happenings of the day, some disbelieve and call the day a dream but not a reality. The truth is that those evil and unrepented lawyers would not escape this day, God willing! God Almighty is the Lord of the Day. But no doubt, it is the wish of the writer of this paper that these lawyers would learn today now before it is too late, fear God Almighty in all that they do and fear the nemesis of their actions which pays in no time. It might be thought of as far but might be near. At least, death approaches uninformed!
Finally, I urge and advise young lawyers not to be dragged into being an accomplice to criminalities that they perhaps observe that their seniors are engaging into and distinguish themselves with good conduct as admonished by the Rule 1 of the RPC. All lawyers must remain steadfast in righteousness and the fear of God Almighty! Evil ways and nefarious dealings are all plots of the devil and so must be avoided, else, the ‘glasshouse Rule’ that this paper discusses is feared to hold effect against such a lawyer who refuses to mend his ways after having been so admonished by this paper! At least, history would have it that ‘Hameed Ajibola Jimoh Esq.’ had once said it’!