The last in the series.
This time I want to focus on our legal system. As a budding future lawyer, I spent my first year gathering intel. I wanted information about what the Legal System was like in England and Wales, but most importantly, what the legal field was like in Nigeria.
At some point in my life, I would like to return to my home country, permanently. When that will be, time will tell. In the meantime, my job is to mentally, physically, economically and emotionally prepare myself for such a move.
Over the years, I found that a lot of my relatives that lived in England decided to go back home. They had, had enough. The insurmountable taxes that we all have to pay, the cost of fuel, electricity etc. Some claim its a good price to pay for the fact that everything is regulated, but I can tell you that those that live in inner city London might sing another song.
Life is so expensive in London, it's ridiculous. So to them, going home would give them an easier life. Over the years, they have made a small fortune. They return to Naija to live like Queens and Kings. But the question still remains: What do I do? Where do I work?
Majority of them have decided to get involved in the oil and gas industry, smart choice. Others have set up businesses. Others decided to dedicate their time to setting up Charities, and to do a lot of humanitarian work.
Now, when looking from an outsiders perspective, the legal system in Nigeria does not work, it does not function and thus we have no legal system.
However, after some work experience, and asking Junior and Senior lawyers a lot of questions, these are my findings:
1) It is corrupt
You have a lot of lawyers and judges that take bribes. Not only that, but there are sometimes bidding wars between parties. Who can give the biggest sum, or get the money to where it needs to be on time. It can be for something as easy or as simple as filing papers and making sure the judge or magistrate gets it.
2) It is frustrating
It is frustrating because even if every moral fibre inside of you tries to fight it, the system doesn't allow it. You try to be on the straight and narrow. But if your papers are not even going to be received by the court, unless someone gets a lil' something, something, forget you showing up in court and delivering your submission. You've already reached point zero right at the beginning.
3) It has its perks
There is joy in winning cases knowing that you haven't given a bribe and that the court actually sides with you on this one. There are some judges who do not take bribes. There are also, some court officials who refuse bribes, and if you are working as a solicitor then you might not need to deal with all the court stress.
4) It is tuff
You are going to have a lot of decision making to do. A lot of moral compass debates, if you ever decided to be a lawyer in Nigeria.
Well, judging from the above, it looks like I am going to have a swell time!
Our legal system needs fixing. From the inside out. However, it can never be fixed even if we changed the people in charge of ensuring that things function as they should, unless the minds of the people change.
If everyone decides that they want to get ahead giving bribes and earning a living in that way, then Nigeria shall never change.
Lawyers out there, we should be an example to those who came before us and those that are to come after us. I am going to have to face hell on earth, but as long as I can sleep soundly at night, I shall be happy.
There is news that Britain wants to revamp the jails in Nigeria and Jamaica. That way, when they deport the convicts from British prisons, their human rights won't be breached.
So not only are we a problem to ourselves, but also to other countries.
Their perception of Nigeria is so bad, that they want to help us change our prisons to lighten their load. Naija, well done oh. This is really the height of idiocracy! Is there no shame for Nigerians out there any more? Sooner or later your underwear will be exposed, then what?