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Corrupt Judges, Lawyers And Rules Of Professional Ethics For Legal Practitioners In Nigeria

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Corrupt Judges, Lawyers And Rules Of Professional Ethics For Legal Practitioners In Nigeria

Recently, Joe Agi  SAN
funded the wedding of the son of Justice Adeniyi Ademola to the tune of
N30 million. Even though the SAN is prosecuting and defending many cases
before Justice Ademola the trial judge, Jude Okeke (Justice Okeke was
today outed as one of the judges favored by Joe Nwobike to assign all
his corrupt cases) said that the accused persons have no case to answer
before him!

Even though both accused persons were freed on technical grounds
neither the NJC nor the Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers
has deemed it fit to subject them to any form of discipline. Before
we are told that any disciplinary measure meted out to them will amount
to double jeopardy what is the justification for removing the name of a
lawyer who has been convicted by a criminal court?

Two SANs are currently facing trial in the Lagos High Court for
bribing judges before whom they have cases.  Having lost our sense of
shame some colleagues have said that there is nothing bad in funding the
weddings and burials for judges by giving them millions or hundreds of
thousands of Naira without the knowledge of the opposing counsel. As
lawyers and judges have forgotten the provisions of the Rules of
professional practice and code of conduct for judicial officers we are
compelled to draw attention to the following:

Section 2 :   Relationships with Judges

A lawyer should never show marked attention or unusual
hospitality to a judge, uncalled for by the personal relations of the
parties. He should avoid anything calculated to gain or having the
appearance of gaining special personal consideration or favor from a

Section 3(c)     Conduct Towards Judges During Trial

Except as provided by rule or order of a court, a lawyer should
never deliver to the judge any letter, memorandum, brief or other
written communication without concurrently delivering a copy to opposing


Rule 1

A Judicial Officer should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities

1.     A Judicial Officer should respect and comply with the laws
of the land and should conduct himself at all times in a manner that
promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the

2. Social Relationships

(a)        A Judicial Officer must avoid social relationship that are improper or give rise to an appearance of impropriety, that cast doubt on the judicial officers’s ability to decide cases impartially, or that bring disrepute to the Judiciary.

C – Disqualification

1. (c)    A Judicial Officer should disqualify himself in a
proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,
including but not limited to the instances where he knows that he
individually or as a Judicial Officer or his spouse or child, has a
financial or any other interest that could be substantially affected by
the outcome of the proceeding;

F-     Acceptance of Gifts

1.   A Judicial Officer and members of his family shall neither ask for nor accept any gift, bequest, favor, or loan on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.

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