Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has laced his thought on the raging issue about the docking of lawyers and judges for criminal offences especially the recent one that has the country’s number one law officer on the false asset declaration charges filed against him. Speaking on the issue he says:
“I have observed a proclivity on the part of some senior members of the legal profession to practise law in an atmosphere of impunity. Since lawyers are not above the law,it is part of our political history that long before the current political dispensation, judges and lawyers had been charged with criminal offences and arraigned in courts in this country. The earlier that lawyers are reminded that heavens did not fall when a couple of sitting judges were charged with murder and armed robbery in the 1980s, the better for the legal profession. In the same vein, scores of lawyers who were alleged to have contravened the penal and criminal codes have been put in the dock. Some were acquitted while those who were convicted were derobed and removed from the roll of legal practitioners.
Chief Fawehinmi, the late Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti and I were again arrested in Lagos for organising the mass protests which greeted the criminal annulment of the result of the June 12 presidential election. We were taken to a Magistrate Court in Abuja where we were charged with unlawful assembly, incitement and sabotage of the political transition programme. If lawyers and judges do not want to be paraded in criminal courts like common felons, the NJC and the NBA have to sanction members who breach the ethics of the legal profession”