A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Kyari Gadzama, has said lawyers have huge roles to play in rescuing Nigeria from its quagmire.
He spoke in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, during the first inaugural lecture organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young Lawyers Forum, Ijebu-Ode branch.
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The lecture was titled, “The influence of Justice and Order in a developing society.”
Gadzama, who chaired of the lecture, submitted that entrenchment of justice and order would guarantee socioeconomic development of the country.
The legal luminary who identified insecurity and poor economy as some of challenges confronting the nation, said lawyers need to come to the aid of Nigeria.
Highlighting lawyers’ role in the society, Gadzama said the lawyer “is the five senses of the visible body of common man – the eye, the mouth, the eardrum, the nose and the receptor of the common man.”
He also expressed worry over feud between the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammad Tanko and the Supreme Court justices, saying it would compound the delayed justice system if the crisis is not urgently resolved.
“The country as a state and as a nation is facing a lot of challenges, from the issue of safety to the issue of whether we should restructure this country or not.”
“The economy is below the ladder and we have been referred to as the poverty capital of the entire world. Some are saying we are gravitating towards becoming a failed state. Some have even opined that we are already a failed state.
“So, it’s the lawyers who can come to aid of this country,” Gadzama said.
Delivering the lecture, Chukwuma Ikwuazom (SAN) also agreed that effective judicial and justice system would help in resolving Nigeria economic challenges.
According to him, one of the questions investors ask is, how effective is the nation’s judiciary in settling commercial dispute.
“And the answer to that question maybe be between, investing in Nigeria, for example, or in Ghana.
“So, if we are serious about driving the development (of Nigeria), we must begin to do the things we need to do to be able to make our judicial sector functional,” Ikwuazom said.
In her welcome address, the branch Chairperson of YLF, Elsie Adepitan-Olaniyi said the lecture was put together in order for young lawyers to gain more knowledge towards attaining success in the legal practice.
Adepitan-Olaniyi maintained that the career growth of young lawyers is determined by the level at which the judicial system functions and the manner with which “our laws are enforced and sanctions strictly observed.”
She expressed concern that lawlessness “is fast becoming the order of the day” due to the privilege of the social media.