Prof. Omoniyi Akinola of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun, has expressed worry over the incursion of quacks into law profession in the country.
Akinola, a lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the university, said this while presenting the 9th inaugural lecture of the institution on Thursday in Ede, Osun.
The lecture was theme: ”Confluence of Professional Ethics, Corporate Governance, and the Training of Lawyers In the 21st Century.
Akinola said that due to the lucrative nature of law as a profession, there had been in recent times, the incursion of quacks by way of impersonation of legal practitioners.
The don said there was urgent need for the amendment of Section 22 of the Legal Practitioners Act, which prescribed the punishment to be meted to offenders.
He said the act, which recommended punishment of N200 and N100 or an option of imprisonment not exceeding two years was obsolete.
”It is our view that this provision for impersonation and the negative effect of impersonation on unsuspecting clients and the Nigerian economy calls for holistic review of the entire law.
“It should be noted that previous attempts to amend the law have been unsuccessful at the level of the National Assembly.
“To this end, there is need to revisit rule 39 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, which deals with advertising by lawyers in Nigeria,” he said.
Besides, Akinola also called on law lecturers to desist from the practice of giving law students areas of concentration.
Akinola said that since clients would not give areas of concentration when bringing legal problems, such idea should be condemned by all.
He said that a law lecture should be richer in terms of students’ engagement to stimulate their minds to be analytical and proffer on-the-spot solutions to legal problems.
The don also said that effective checks and balances must be carried out on law teachers to ensure that students were trained in the art and practice of law without the laxity of the abuse of academic freedom.
Akinola, however, said that inadequate teacher-student ratio, use of old teaching techniques, inadequate funding, among others were some of the challenges facing legal education in Nigeria.
He said that funding institutions such as Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other regulators should relax administrative bottlenecks and contribute their quotas towards building modern facilities.
Akinola also said that in order to improve the quality of training of law students, the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency, approve the minimum benchmark for the various programmes in Nigeria.
He also said that parents should only guide the students in decision making with respect to their careers and not be compelled to read law to please their parents.
SOURCE: LOYAL NIGERIAN LAWYER