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Editorial
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In Nigeria, law has become the most dominant profession because many lawyers have managed to portray themselves as the only 'learned' people, and denigrated professions like Estate Management. Many lawyers are stupendously wealthy because they are able to compromise standards at the expense of their profession.

In Nigeria, law has become the most dominant profession because many lawyers have managed to portray themselves as the only 'learned' people, and denigrated professions like Estate Management. Many lawyers are stupendously wealthy because they are able to compromise standards at the expense of their profession.

They have succeeded so well that when a 'change' government berthed in May, 2015, not only were the Vice President and powerful Chief of Staff, lawyers, but ten of the 36 Ministers appointed, were lawyers. They were Ministers in Foreign Affairs, Communication, Information, Sports, Labour, Women, Petroleum, Planning, and of course Justice. In fact until today, one of them runs the hybrid Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
So when the Buhari administration moved against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) violating all processes and procedures, abridging the fundamental right to fair hearing, and bulldozing through the constitution; it was not for lack of enough legal minds in government. All that was necessary to invade the pinnacle of justice in the country was to find a pliant lawyer, sitting in an inferior court and working to the answer provided by the Presidency which desperately wanted the CJN out of power. We may yet witness the spectacle of the CJN being brought to a tribunal in handcuffs. It will be easy for some to sing: Hurrah to the masses! The Chief Justice is going to jail!! The law is an ass!!! But Nigeria Moment is threatened by the fact that if the CJN can be convicted by an inferior court and suspended without even his plea being taken, then the rest of us cannot be safe. If chicks eat the entrails of cocks, what will they not do to cockroaches?
It does appear that somehow, the 'legal sense' of many lawyers has caught up with the entire judicial system endangering it and the country. Given the hierarchical culture that has been built into the judicial system, an over anxious, uninspiring, dour gentleman takes over, not for manifest competence, but because, he is the 'most senior'. How do you elevate a person based on seniority without considering character, competence and suitability?
It is apposite to ask; must the most senior automatically take over? The simple answer is no! And like lawyers are won't to say, there are precedents. Justice Darnley Arthur Alexander, a naturalized Nigerian who was in 1957 invited from St Lucia by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, had seniors in the Supreme Court when he was made the CJN in 1975. The authorities then claimed they were interested in a CJN that could best sanitize the system not one who had marked time on the bench moving steps higher with every vacancy. Justice in the country cannot necessarily be served only if we have gerontocrats shuffling their feet in the halls of the Supreme Court with the baggage they may carry.

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