Afe Babalola laments effects of economic hardship on Nigerian lawyers

Afe Babalola laments effects of economic hardship on Nigerian lawyers

by Joseph Anthony
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Aare Afe Babalola, the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), has voiced concerns about the impact of economic challenges on lawyers in Nigeria.

Speaking during the 13th edition of the Annual Aare Afe Babalola Public Bar Lecture organized by the Ado-Ekiti branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Babalola lamented the deteriorating economic conditions that have left many lawyers struggling to make ends meet.

He expressed regret over the battered state of the country’s economy, which has resulted in lawyers, who were previously financially comfortable, now living below subsistence levels. Babalola highlighted issues such as the reliance on agriculture, lack of modern transportation, deplorable roads, and inadequate infrastructure as contributing factors to the economic hardship faced by lawyers, particularly in landlocked states.

Babalola emphasized the imbalance between those who contribute to society and those who seek personal gain, noting a surplus of consumers compared to producers and investors. He also highlighted the disproportionate number of lawyers aspiring for judicial positions compared to those opting to remain in private practice.

In his lecture titled “The Judiciary, yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” Prof. Tunde Yebisi, the Provost of the College of Law at ABUAD, advocated for adequate remuneration of judges to attract and retain qualified individuals. He suggested that judges’ salaries should be at par with those of top government officials and be directly disbursed from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Yebisi also proposed the appointment of retired judges or respected lawyers, preferably Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), to serve on electoral panels to minimize coercion, intimidation, bribery, and corruption.

Moreover, he highlighted the need for the effective utilization of existing judges to address delays in the administration of justice, suggesting the recruitment of additional judges and the encouragement of young lawyers to join the bench.

Lawrence Fasanmi, Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ado-Ekiti Branch, praised Babalola’s contributions to legal education and practice, underscoring the significance of the annual lecture instituted in his honor.

In conclusion, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju, the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti and Chairman of the occasion, commended Babalola’s achievements and the NBA’s foresight in recognizing his impact on the legal profession in Nigeria. He highlighted Babalola’s dedication to legal excellence and his significant contributions to various NBA branches across the country.

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