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Corruption: Lawyers should stop giving bribes

By Bayo Akinlade
03 October 2021   |   3:27 am
Sir: I am completely disappointed at the rate at which Lawyers are damaging the image of the judiciary only to turn around and blame the judiciary for delays in justice and poor service delivery.

Federal High Court, Lagos

Sir: I am completely disappointed at the rate at which Lawyers are damaging the image of the judiciary only to turn around and blame the judiciary for delays in justice and poor service delivery. Lawyers who give bribes willingly, submit to inducements and worst of all, give money to influence judicial outcomes are (in my opinion) an embarrassment to this profession.

I hear words like: “I had no choice”, “my client’s case will suffer”, “my case will not move”, “it’s the way things are” etc….so because of your selfish clients and your selfish attitude of wanting to get paid that you will sacrifice our justice sector by corrupting it? Is it only you that has an urgent matter? What’s the life or death situation that your client has that you are willing to kill and destroy the image and the integrity of the judiciary to satisfy your ungrateful clients?

Why will a lawyer compromise to get an advantage over his colleague and in the process destroy the very fabric of the justice system? It is unfortunate that the custodians of our legal profession are weak and ineffective otherwise we would have punished several lawyers for giving bribes. How can we continue to offer bribes in our courts and expect to get justice? How do you offer a bribe at the registry and expect court officials to respect you? How do you buy your way through getting justice and expect the court to have enough respect from the public enough for its judgments to be valued?

When a former JSC says there are rascals on the Bench, his lordship is simply saying there are agberos in the Bar! The same lawyers that are willing to give bribes will write petitions against a judge or magistrate and will report court officials when things don’t go their way. Lawyers should stop giving bribes! Refuse any demand for it; report every demand for it and stand your ground! A lawyer who cannot oppose a registrar who demands for a bribe is not fit to be called a Lawyer! You are no longer a “Minister” in the temple of Justice, you are below the rank of a cleaner in the temple of Justice.

• By Bayo Akinlade, a Lagos-based lawyer

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