Much Ado About Wearing Rags To Court

As a new wig, I cut my teeth under the tutelage of Chief K.K.Ogba, the last Attorney General of East Central State. Our office was at 130 Orlu Road Owerri.
When he noticed my propensity to politics, he called me into his office, after our regimental lunch of banana and groundnut.

My son, law practice, is an unforgiving, jealous lover, she demands all of you and if you are faithful, she will reward you beyond measures. You cannot combine her with any other thing.

But if you want to go into politics, you choose, the kind of politician you want to be but to be a good politician, you must be close to your people, accessible to them at all times.

He also told me that, a good lawyer doesn’t need signboard. That your advocacy in court, your dressing and speech in public space, will attract people and brief to you.

Each time I see lawyers not properly dressed for a lawyer’s function, especially appearance in court, I fondly remember my Oga, who has gone to join his ancestors in Abiriba Abia state.

I also remember Professional Ethics drummed into me at Nigerian Law School Kano Campus, where I queried the rituals of eating dinner before being called to Bar. I opposed a lot of things but my late father told me; my son, it is their shrine, if you want to be initiated, you comply or you drop out. Must you be a lawyer? Are you not aware that when lawyers die, they bury them facing down?

Law or legal practice, is a religion with its own set rules. It is a religion that cuts through other religions and must be respected.

Unfortunately, developments in Nigeria, is eroding this ancient order. Life is progressively dynamic and the legal profession cannot be static. She has to change to remain relevant. But there are procedures to these.

If all concerned are interested in applying the wearing of their religion’s costume when appearing in court, they should apply it to all aspects of their daily lives and make sure that they are truly devotees of the religions they are dressing up for.

But if the application is to shake table and get us to discuss and find ways to do away with the Wig and Gown as had been done in some former British colonies, they have achieved enough attention.

We should maintain status quo, approach the Supreme Court to reverse itself;

Two articulate in a memo to Body of Benchers, NBA and other relevant authorities, why we must abandon the Wig and Gown and resort to wearing either turban, hijab, redcap or outrightly dressing like Babalawo or Marabout to court.

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