Posted by By Kayode Ketefe on
Renowned human rights activist, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has lamented the absence of credible candidates for the office of the president.....
Renowned human rights activist, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has lamented the absence of credible candidates for the office of the president, only nine months to the 2007 elections.
Agbakoba spoke at the first late Chief Debo Akande (SAN) Moot Court Trial, organised by Intercorp Global Consult at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus, on Tuesday.
Agbakoba told the crowd of jurists, judges, legal scholars and students, ”I found it rather frightening that nine months to the 2007 polls, no actors have emerged to contest for the office of the president.”
He said such situation was a big minus to civil rule in Nigeria, and that it should concern those who want genuine democracy for the country.
Legal experts, including Agbakoba; wife of Chief Debo Akande, Prof. Jadesola; Mrs. Hairat Balogun (SAN), daughter of Akande, Justice Adenike Coker, also agreed that the legal education in the country needed to be improved.
Agbakoba described legal education and profession as being in a ”chaotic state”. He said the standards of legal education had not only fallen, but that the cherished values of the profession were being eroded.
He added, ”I commend the organisers of this event, this kind of practical training of moot and mock trial is essential to enrich aspirants to the legal profession. We now have lawyers who graduate and are unable to argue their briefs in court, which is unfortunate.
”This programme is not only a deserving remembrance of the late Debo Akande, it also an avenue to enrich the training of lawyers. This will inculcate in them the practical aspect of he legal profession,” Agbakoba said.
He also advised the politicians, many of whom he said had not learnt their lessons, to embrace the culture of politics without bitterness for the next political dispensation to be a success.
He added that it would be erroneous to attribute the death of Chief Funsho Williams to political causes only, and urged the law enforcement agents to examine all probable causes and not to reject any theory.
Jadesola Akande said the moot and mock trial represented ”legal mentoring” of aspiring lawyers, which her late husband stood for. She said the falling standards of students lawyers needed to be arrested in the interest of the nation.
”Many law graduates become lawyers nowadays without knowing both the procedure and the language of the court. This is not suppose to be. It is this trend that this programme hopes to reverse,” she said.
Justice Adenike Coker said she was shocked to hear recently that law students no longer had moot and mock trial as part of their training. ”It is not like in my own time” She recommended to the Council of Legal Education to re-incorporate moot and mock trial into legal education.
Six universities took part in the moot and mock trial on Tuesday. These are University of Ilorin, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Niger-Delta University, Lagos State University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma.
Agbakoba announced at the occasion a prize endowment of N100,000 for the best performer from next edition of the programme. The prize is to be known by the name of his late father, the former Chief Judge of Eastern State, Justice Agbakoba.
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