Nigeria Needs Mobile Legal Clinic (MLC)

Lakpene Yusuf Bida, Esq.

Nigeria legal system was developed from the British model in all its ramifications.The practice system,the mudus operandi, the Court system, appearances and conducts. All these have been in operation long before Nigeria even got Independence in 1960.

However, the Nigeria legal system has been static especially in practices. It can best be imagined the number of qualified legal practitioners since the establishment of Nigerian Law School in Lagos. If Iam not mistaken in 1962 or 1963. But today Nigeria has five Nigerian Law Schools scattered in Nigeria. This tells the number of lawyers Nigeria will turn up each year into the struggling world.

Basically, Nigeria only has three ways of getting these potential lawyers legally engaged. This could be by the government through employment of lawyers as public counsel or state counsel. The other aspect is in Judiciary as lower Court Magistrates/Sharia/ Customary Judges. Then very very few into private organizations or companies. By the time statistics of these are taken, it can be imagined the number of legal practitioners that are engaged. This is due to the dogmatism attached to the growth and development of legal system in Nigeria more than ninety years ago. This being the reason why every place is saturated with lawyers floating about in Nigeria with little chances of making brain drain impossible.

Therefore, it is time we looked inward as lawyers to develop other sectors by which our upcoming young lawyers can be gainfully helped and at the sametime improve the overall legal system of Nigeria. Not only this, to further borrow the provisions of section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 CFRN to improve the security and welfare of the state.

My respected and well to do colleagues, kindly view this suggestions and please for prosterity key in and develop this idea as well as to assist our profession to prosper. Here goes the idea:

i-The possibility of creating MOBILE LEGAL CLINIC in every state of Nigeria through efforts of private legal practitioners.

ii-Legal framework on this can be deduced from Legal Practitioners’ Act.

iii-This Legal Clinic must have:
i- Good vehicles.
ii-Functional offices.
iii-Attractive
remuneration.
iv- Others.

Functionality of the Clinic such as:
Regular visits to:
a- Prisons.
b- Police stations.
c-Detention camps.
d-Courts.
e-Other like institutions.

This Legal Mobile Clinic will move legal practices away from the hitherto sedentary (Sit in the Chambers sydrome) waiting for the client to come. This will pave ways for the corporate clients to come easily to the Chambers. It will equally reduce the internal struggles between old and new chambers and the struggle between very senior lawyers and very junior lawyers from scounting for briefs.

I believe some will move against this but note that, we must grow by taking on the bull by its horns.Time has come to move the legal profession to the next level. You are respectively required to improve upon this idea. A one thousand miles journey starts with a step.

May we be guided.
Lakpene Yusuf Bida, Esq.
6th-11-2022.

Lakpene Yusuf Bida, Esq. was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1983. Before then, he attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for Dip.In-Law between 1975/1977, LLB between 1979/1982, and the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos between 1982/83. NYSC Kwara 1983/84. Mr. Lakpene worked as Court Registrar 1977-1979 and was appointed as Magistrate by Niger state Judiciary and served between 1984-1991. He later transferred service to the Legal Division NNPC and served at different capacities such as Legal Adviser/Company Sec. KRPC, Legal Adviser/Company SEC.NETCO, Lagos, Legal Adviser/Company Sec.IDSL, Benin. Since retirement, he has authored about eleven books on different legal topics. Four yet to be published. A Notary Public and daily article writer on the WhatsApp and Facebook. He’s also a part time law lecturer in Minna and has traveled overseas for various official assignments. He is married with children.


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