A professor at the Faculty of Law at the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, Prof. Omoniyi Akinola has expressed worry over the incursion of quacks into the law profession in the country. He said this while presenting the 9th inaugural lecture of the institution on recently in Ede, Osun State.
Speaking during the lecture, Akinola who is also the Dean of the Law Faculty at the institution 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
The don said there was an urgent need to amend 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 the act on unsuspecting clients and the Nigerian economy calls for a 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 called on law lecturers to desist from giving law students areas of concentration. Akinola said that since clients would not give areas of concentration when bringing legal problems, such an idea should be condemned by all.
He said that a law lecture should be richer regarding 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 are 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, and inadequate funding, among others, were some of the challenges facing legal education in Nigeria. He said funding institutions such as Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other regulators should relax administrative bottlenecks and contribute their quotas toward building modern facilities.
Akinola also said that 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 concerning their careers and not be compelled to read Law to please their parents.
Speaking on effective training of law students, he said inadequate teacher-student ratio, use of old teaching techniques, inadequate funding, among others are some of the challenges facing legal education in Nigeria. “Funding institutions such as Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other regulators should relax administrative bottlenecks and contribute their quotas towards building modern facilities.
On improving the quality of training of law students, the Don called on the Federal Government to urgently approve the minimum benchmark for the various programmes in Nigeria. He ended by saying that parents should only guide the children and wards in decision making with respect to their careers and not compel them to read law just to please the parents.