A Note to the Nigerian Bar Association Meeting in Owerri, Imo State

As the baton changes hands at the Nigerian Supreme Court soon, I will repeat the question I had asked the erudite Lord Denning in 1976, when he came visiting on a lecture trip.

When, like India, shall we have a Nigerian jurisprudence? At the end of his lecture on Jurisprudence in the emergent states of Africa, Lord Denning said, that he was very pleased that the British legal traditions, were being well preserved.

I was cut to the quick, so I asked Lord Dening when the colonial legal heritage would l allow us to develop our own legal system, with social relevance to the Nigerian condition? He delivered a concise supplementary treatise, after applauding the depth of the question.

In 1986, I published my book on THE COLONIAL LEGAL HERITAGE IN NIGERIA,(Fagbamigbe Publishers, Akure/Ibadan)
Then, I launched the CRITICAL LEGAL SCHOOL at OAU, IFE. Some of my former pupils are SANs today. HAI!!!

During the OPUTA Supreme Court days, there was noticeable erudition in Supreme Court judgments. The legal academia gradually lost its intellectual shine as locally trained lectures dictated notes to students to copy

The legal language suffered inexorably and lost its luster. JANKARA legal order got into full swing. Some judges became purchasable leviathans.
The degeneracy became accelerated and the SANs marginalized their juniors with poor salaries and conditions of service. The degeneracy continued after the Chairmanship of the Bar Association became the Abuja passage to the post of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

I was recently briefed about recent selections and the inevitable outcome.
The Nigerian Universe of the turning wheel, turned full circle with the Osun state successful INEC- organised gubernatorial elections. It turned dangerously with the declaration of an Islamic state

Written by
Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
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