Non-Lawyers Taking Our Jobs, NBA Branch Chair Laments

Mr Ibrahim Atanda,
Mr Ibrahim Atanda,

The Abeokuta branch chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Ibrahim Atanda, is unhappy that non-lawyers are doing the jobs of lawyers.

He said it was a source of concern that other professionals have “encroached” on the legal profession, and in some cases, are taking over the lawyers’ jobs by signing some documents. He said every effort must be made to arrest the situation.

According to him, the branch would visit the Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey (BLS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reach an understanding with the two agencies not to “accept agreements (from members of the public) without the requisite NBA seal.”

He, however, urged lawyers to invest in personal development, uphold the rule of law and help facilitate the administration of justice in the state and Nigeria.

Atanda spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during the 2017 edition of the association’s dinner.

He said legal fees being charged by lawyers have become a “raging issue”, adding that those who charge fees arbitrarily would be disciplined.

Atanda noted that the issue of what lawyers should charge clients for service rendered, is provided for in the Legal Practitioners’ Act.

He said non-adherence to the provision by some lawyers undermines the practice of fellow legal practitioners, who follow the rules.

According to Atanda, pepper sellers and other traders have a scale of charges and adhere to it because it is enforced, but lamented that lawyers neither implement nor enforce their own scale of charges.

He said erring lawyers would be taken before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for sanctions.