By Kuni Tyessi
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr. Wale Babalakin, has charged members of the silk on the need to save the profession from going down, adding that the legal profession is being threatened.
Babalakin who lamented the dwindling standard of learning in the country, said except the lawyers accept to save the legal profession, it will soon become part of the decay in the country.
He spoke yesterday in Abuja at a book presentation “Two decades of Forensic Advocacy at the Inner Bar: A Festschrift in honour of Yusuf Ali (SAN)”.
The former Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos, said the standard of learning is going down and charged the members of the bar to rise up to the challenge.
“What we call tutorial in our universities are far cry,” saying a law class of 400 students to a teacher is not tutorial.
He cited his days in the university where it used to be a student to a teacher for tutorial.
Babalakin said while developed countries that Nigeria ought to be competing with are daily improving, the country has set a low standard as benchmark for the profession.
He therefore concluded that only the lawyers can save the profession.
“Only the lawyers can save the legal profession. legal profession is threatened, unless lawyers come together and realise that we have to protect our law by speaking the truth and all situation irrespective of who is affected, we will become part of the decay of the nation. We are at a very difficult threshold as a country.
“We have created a very low standard, which is what now benchmark. My take is: Can we in this part of the world, continue to deteriorate, while those in other part of the world who we are supposed to compete with continue to improve?
Babalakin also charged lawyers to be part of policy making by participating in politics.
He said lawyers who want to aspire for political positions should make up their mind of what they intend to do and do it with clear mind.
He added, “For those of you who may want to make it in politics, I am talking about the younger ones, you are encouraged to do it. Please go in to change the landscape. But when you are going in, make sure you have a second address because if you are unable to work hard on any position then you cannot come back to this job. If you are unable to say bye-bye irrespective of failure then you cannot come back”.
He also commended the honouree for what he has achieved and expressed optimism that the book will be reference materials for students and members of the bar.