Pilot Law

Kwara doyen of SAN, AG others canvass court morals


By Kayode Adeoti

The Kwara State doyen of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (NBA), Alhaji Salman Alarape, charged the legal practitioners in the state to be upright and be of good morals in the discharge of their professional duties.
He made the charge on Monday while speaking at a one-day seminar titled ‘Courtroom Etiquette’, organised by the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
According to him, the green horns in the profession should respect and learn from their seniors ways of presenting matters in the court.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN) in his address commended the NBA for organising the seminar even as he urged young lawyers to be respectful.
In order to achieve docorum and respect in the court, the Supreme Court has reduced the number of lawyers that could follow a senior to court to 5, he stressed.
“I commend the NBA for organising the seminar, the topic is apt coming at this time, it couldn’t have come at any better time,” he said.
The speaker of the day, Osun state High Court Judge, Justice Afolayan Olayinka, in his paper, charged lawyers not be confrontational while presenting matters in the court but be subtle.
He said “For one to be called to bar, one must have undergone certain trainings which are prerequisite of the profession. Etiquette are polite use of the court, lawyers must not be confrontational but be subtle.
“The use of the word your worship must be appropriately used, especially at the magistrate court. When leaving the court, bow. No one should pass in between the court and the counsel during proceedings.
“When lawyer attacks the court after losing case. An attack on the court is an attack on the profession. The duty you owe the court is more than the one you owe your client.
“Don’t cite in existing authority. Dressing of counsels have to be neat and individual must comport himself or herself well. Lawyers will not only be assessed by judges but by other lawyers and members of the public.  Don’t dress in the courtroom when the court has commenced session. It is unethical. New judges of the day are lenient, they don’t exercise that power of their sit any more… Women should wear open sandal and put on robe. When you put on robe with suite, is means, the counsel it appearing for someone.
“Lawyers should appear serious and face business of the court, speak out with polished language, not groaning.
Also speaking at the event is Adebayo Adelodun, SAN, who cautioned counsels against the use of bogus jewelries, adding that beauty ornament always distracts court proceedings.
“Lawyers should endeavour to dress well. The dressing doesn’t have to be very expensive. Lawyers must dress in good suit, avoid wearing loud colours or appear in all black outfit. A lawyer was once punished because she was wearing high heel. Ladies must do manageable hair style. If you want to do fashion, don’t do law.
“There must be decorum in the court. This implies, once you’re in the court, you don’t press phone, it’s a bad etiquette. Lawyers must be in court to wait for the judge not the other way round,” he stressed.
In the short speech of Peter Olorunisola, SAN, he corroborated the earlier speakers, saying the profession must be guarded jealously and members of the bench must not rest on their oars in guiding the bar.
Among members of the bar who were at the seminar are: Kehinde Eleja (SAN), Dr. Kayode Olatoke (SAN), former NBA chairmen, Mobolaji Ojibara, Salman Jawondo, State Solicitor General, Funsho Lawal, Wahab Egbewole, Muhammed Akande among many others.

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