Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez
Legal Stakeholders have converged at the University of Ilorin Law Faculty to explore perspectives and issues bothering on student legal practice. This is in furtherance to the zeal to improve law practice and improve the skills of budding practitioners, as student law practitioners stated at the Students’ Bar-organized Legal Practice Forum.
The event, which was held on the 25th of November, 2021, had the presence of judicial council members, faculty judges, court registrars, judicial bailiffs and student attorneys, to “further the course of legal practice, jurisprudence and advocacy in the jurisdiction” as the Bar President, Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez stated.
The Chief Justice of the Students’ Union, Muazzu Ola-Lawal, stated while addressing the law enthusiasts that the forum should be a “free avenue where the professionals should deliberate on frictions with the Bar and Bench, taking note of all hints of ethics.”
The organizers of the event, the Students Union Bar Association, University of Ilorin, stated in an official statement made available to this reporter that “the Legal Practice Forum is organized to achieve a balance of practice and relations between the Bar and the Bench, while giving a platform for student legal practitioners to channel their complaints and reform ideas to appropriate authorities in a conducive atmosphere without fear”. The organization stated that the forum is important to driving reforms, and ensure that quality and effective practice is boosted.
The Forum had the promotion of deliberations and recommendations on legal practice on the campus, while also calling for more inclusivity, efficiency and focus for the sector, towards the improvement of legal practice of students in the campus environs.
The Chief Judge of the Law Students Society, Tunji-Lawal Lawal Bolaji, commended the executives of the Bar for “giving a platform for stakeholders to give contributions and state how they feel on recurring issues bothering the two arms of legal practice”. He enjoined that contributors should “not see the avenue to promote dispute and individual ego, but rather as a venue to steer constructive criticisms to recurring problems we all face.”
Matters on case filings, registry efficiency, lateness to court proceedings, disregard to court orders, ethics and mannerisms amongst student counsels, insubordination, stances on misapplication of laws, inadequacies in legislations, inconsistencies in court rulings and judgments, unavailability of court decisions, amongst many other issues, formed the crux of contentions and deliberations at the forum.
The Attorney General of the Students’ Union, Abdul-Basit Adetoyebi Mustapha, expressed his optimism on the deliberations, stating that “the deliberations would ensure that the problems in the legal practice on campus is looked into.”
Also, a Judge of the Law Faculty, Jamiu Ridwan Adeniyi, told this reporter that “the deliberations are important, but the recommendations must be implemented for the Forum to achieve its full objective.” This view was also shared by the Secretary of the Body of Benchers, Omolade Prisca Jaiyeoba.
The Bar’s Vice President, Abdul-Kareem Hajarah, while giving her vote of thanks, appreciated the audience, and commended them for their thoughtful and insightful deliberations.
“The Forum was organized to create a platform for all these issues between the Bar and Bench to be resolved, and we are glad the event had achieved this objective”, she said.