ARE LAWYERS REALLY LIARS? OR CRIMINAL’S DEFENDERS?
By: Junaidu Abdulkadir Haifan, faculty of law, Usman Dan Fodio University.
As the saying goes ” lawyers are not only liars, but also that the kingdom of God is not meant to them”
This is one of the scathing remarks made by some member of the society. Our society. It’s not really agonising to witness the rate at which the Nigeria society pollutes the minds of her young ones with falsehood, half-truth, and stereotype to the legal practitioner. ( lawyers) poor impression they say dies hard. It’s really amazing that even among the renowned scholars make unpleasant and scathing remark of the profession.
It’s a crystal clear that, lawyers plays a very crucial and formidable role in the lives of man and society in general. The Predominant view is that, law is an important machinery of justice in the society and the lawyer who is either at the either or on the bench stands out as part of the machinery. According to the C. WEIGHT MILLS, lawyers are seen as the a gents of law, handling the general interest of the society and believed to be professionally above business motive. This is to say that, a lawyer should be seen as an honest person as his relationship with his client is normally raised by the society as to why the profession has been concerned with it’s image rather then it’s role in actual situation. Also the first Nigerian lawyer, Christopher Sapara Williams had this to said, “the legal practitioner( A lawyer) lives for the direction of his people and the cause of advancement of his nation”
It’s estimable importance to said that, the function of law in the society is overemphasized. As the saying goes” the function of law, is like the function of soul in to the human body. Or any other things on this planet-earth ” HAIFAN 2019) This is because, it’s in the law, by the law and for the law, we, move, live, and have a good relationship with anyone. As the saying goes ” man’s meat is another man’s poison” Suffice therefore to say that, law is one of the most prime factor in man’s life and without it organized societies as they are now would be impossible. And without the lawyer there can be no law. And society as well. According to JOHN STONE AND HORSON, the traditional function of a lawyer is to reach the society with law and it’s purpose. It’s the task of a lawyer to take law to the people in the sense of interpreting it, making it’s rules apply to every situation and where necessary, bring to the attention of appropriate authorities or institution which suggest the need for change and to enhance a good relationship with the people.(clients) A small story of this is what had happened between prophet DAWUD ( judge) and Solomon (lawyer)..
ONE THING NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT A LAWYER
Only fit and proper person are so called to the bar. A person of an undesirable or questionable character cannot be admitted in to the Nigerian law school at all, let alone being called to Bar, to practice law.
In light of this, the council of legal education introduce rules and conditions of enrolling persons seeking to be come members of the legal practitioner which is visible clear to any blind man that, only people of good character are admitted in to the Nigerian law school. This is in the case of, OKOKNJO VS COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION (1979) DAC, 28, The applicant was refused admission to the Nigerian law school on the ground that, he had been indicated by tribunal of inquiry while he was a public officer, on appeal the court makes it binding principle that, it will be ridiculous to say that, character should not be taken in to consideration in admitting person to the law school, that in fact, good character is a very essential asset condition precedent for the admission of person in to the legal profession.
In RE HILL, the rule was stated thus; ‘ any misconduct by a lawyer would if committed before he was a lawyer be sufficient to warrant his being struck off the roll or suspended from practice.
THEN WHAT’S LIE OF PROVING SOMEONE GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT??
Law is a specialized discipline. People with legally tailored or oriented minds see things differently from the way laymen see them. This is because lawyers are trained to weigh facts( to save innocent life, and that the culprit shall face music) and analyse issue with well settled principles and laid down procedure stated in law.( Then what lie in this?) Offence have constituent elements; i.e. the guilty mind and the guilty act which have to concur. Once any element is lacking in any act or omission the law may provide that, no offence has been committed…
SOMEONE MAY ASK WHY LAWYERS DEFENDING CRIMINALS???
Thus, the section ” every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty” 36(5)of the CFRN 1999.
Therefore by virtue of this section lawyers were not, are not, and is not going to defend any criminal person but rather an innocent. Until the case is prove beyond a reasonable doubt.. And the rule of law is clear on this point. Rule 37(1)and Rule 38 of professional conduct, 2007 state that, it is the right of a lawyer to undertake the defence of a person accused of a crime, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilty of the accused otherwise innocent. This beyond any reasonable doubt proves that, lawyers defend not a criminal but an innocent person.
And as we know in general that, lawyers are involved in drafting agreements, preparing legal documents and generally representing the interest of their clients.. This fulfills the command of Allah(SWT) Q 2:282 Allah says ” oh you who believe, when you contract a debt for a fixed time, record it in writing, let a scribe record it between you in terms of equity.
But if he who owed the debt is of low understanding or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the agent of his interest dictate in terms of equity…”
This beyond any skepticism shows that Islamic law also guarantees to both parties in litigation the right to appoint another person to represent him before the judge.. As we know the danger of self representation in legal matters… As the saying goes ” on one’s behalf( in legal matters) throw millions of innocence in the depth of ocean” (HAIFAN2019).
Also in the Holy Bible, Luke 11:52 it is stated, ” oh you lawyers you have taken away the key of knowledge. ”
Therefore lawyers deserved to be respected, ( DANMASALLACI) and any one have the same mind with you. If not because of lawyers words of some shall convict and sentence some to death. And their gentle soul as well.
God bless the Nigerian law students!
God bless the Nigerian Bar Association!!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
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