Nigeria: Lawyers Shouldn't Be Treated Like Clerks - Murphy-Akpieyi

5 December 2019

Legal Practitioner and Mediator, Mrs. Uwala Murphy-Akpieyi has advised senior lawyers in the country to desist from treating junior colleagues like clerks as federal and state governments are urged to set up more alternative dispute resolution centres.

Uwala who spoke during the 20 years remembrance of her late father, Esan of Warri, Chief Nelson Asigboro, said the government should introduce two years internship for law students in order to enable them garner more experience after their service year.

She said: "The relationship between juniors and senior lawyers needs to improve, in many instances I see senior lawyers treating junior colleagues like clerks. A situation whereby you see junior lawyers carrying briefcases and books running after senior colleagues like clerks is unfair. If you need someone to carry your briefcase and books, employ a clerk.

"Government needs to set up more alternative dispute resolution centres at least one per local government area and encourage people to send their matters for mediation. For instance, at the Lagos multi-door court, we have the Lagos settlement week which comes up about two, three times a year and you see so many people come to file their cases and it is free. In the end, they are always impressed because it is quicker, cheaper and confidential.

"Alternative dispute resolution is now a global trend as most foreigners would rather have their disputes resolved through this medium. The issue of case adjournment in court along with the huge logistic have made many people embrace alternative dispute resolution."

She urged federal and state government to always respect the rule of law which remain as the bedrock of any successful society.

Uwala who recalled her time with late Esan of Warri, Chief Nelson Asigboro, said that her father was an advocate of peace, culture and integrity.

She said: "We are organizing the 20 years remembrance of my late father, Nelson Asigboro Mene-Afejuku who was born on February 13, 1913 in Batere Warri Local Government Area and died on November 2, 1999.

"My father believed so much in good name, he loved to help the less privileged in the society and believed so much in integrity and truth. He always said to us the children that we must work hard to keep the family good name and didn't like laziness and compromises. During his lifetime, he liked people to be well dressed. He was a very proud Ishekiri prince during his lifetime."


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