By Hameed Ajibola Jimoh, Esq.
Having regard to the benefits attached to lawyers or counsel whose name has been mentioned in especially the originating processes of court, among which are: in consideration of the number of judgments required to be qualified for the conferment of the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); in consideration of the number of Judgments required to be qualified and or as a criteria for being appointed as a High Court’s Judge, etc., it is the appeal of this paper that our Nigerian courts should consider the importance of specifying the name of the litigant’s lawyer/counsel and or mentioning same in the course of their Judgment and or Rulings so that such lawyer would benefit from his professional sweats he has invested in his practice as a lawyer as time goes on. Hence, this topic.
I have observed that some of our courts whether Magistrates or High Courts or Court of Appeal refer to the lawyer who files originating processes which (as much as the legal practice is concerned) are what a court considers or which forms the disputes between and or among parties to litigation, just as ‘Plaintiff’s Counsel’ or ‘Claimant’s Counsel’ or ‘Defendant’s Counsel’ or ‘Respondent’s Counsel’ or ‘Appellant’s Counsel’ or ‘Respondent’s Counsel’ or Petitioner’s Counsel’, etc., without specifically mentioning the ‘name’ of the said counsel being referred to! This omission and or inadvertence, with due respect, raises some ambiguities in the said Judgment and or Rulings as to who among the lawyers in Nigeria having the licence to practice law is being referred to in the said Judgment/Ruling by the court, except and or until one would have to call for the originating process to discover such lawyer. It is my humble submission that our courts could save the time to be used in calling for the originating process if such counsel’s name is mentioned in the said Judgment and or Ruling.
Finally, I therefore, humbly urge and appeal and or pray our courts to always mention the name of the litigant’s lawyer/counsel who has filed originating processes (which are the subject matter of the Judgment/Ruling of the court) in their Judgments/Rulings in the interest of some benefits that are likely to accrue to such lawyer in his future professional endeavours.
May this article please My Noble Lords!