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The Oracle: Ethics and Discipline in Law: Akin to Waiting for Godot (Pt. 8)



By Mike Ozekhome


Ethics and discipline are at the core of legal principles and precepts; because law is a set of beliefs and values which society has accepted either formally in written codes or unwritten codes like customs and traditions. In either case, they are norms which are based on what society regards as ethical behavior or best practices applicable in any given context or circumstances. They are usually flouted at the risk of sanctions. This is where discipline comes in. Please, read on.


The applicable rules relating to the discipline of lawyers is the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules 2006. The Breach of any of the rules of professional conduct in the legal profession could be held to constitute an infamous conduct in a professional respect. See Rule 55(2), RPC 2007. Suffices however to say that any aggrieved party can write a written complaint against a legal practitioner to any of the following: The Chief of Judge of Nigeria; The Attorney General of the Federation; President, Court of Appeal or presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal; The Chief Judge of the High Court of a State or that of the FCT; The AG of a State; Chairmen, body of Benches; and President, NBA or Chairman of a branch of NBA. See Rule 3(1) LPDC Rules 2006.


The procedures for the discipline of lawyers can be summed up as follows: Receipt of a complaint or petition; Any of the persons authorized to receive the petition or complaint shall forward same to the NBA which shall course the complaint to be investigated; Investigation and if a prima facie case is established, the NBA shall forward a report of such a case to the Secretary of the LPDC together and all documents not considered by the NBA and a copy of the complaint; Appointment of a legal practitioner by the NBA to present the case before the committee; Hearing of the case of a party either personally or through a counsel of his choice; On the direction of the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, the Secretary shall fix a day of hearing and serve notices to parties (either through personal service registered post or e-mail etc); They must be at least 15 days between the services of hearing notice and the date of hearing; Except where the services is by publication in the newspaper, the secretary is to serve on parties, other than the complainant, both the hearing notice and copies of the report and the complaint prepared by the NBA; Upon proof of service, the committee may proceed to hear and determine the case in the absence of the counsel against whom the complaint was made; An absent party may however within 30 days from the date of the pronouncement of the findings and direction of the committee apply for a re-hearing; If the committee is satisfied that it is just to hear the case, it may grant the application upon such terms as to cost or otherwise; The committee shall hear witnesses and receive documentary evidence such as would assist it in coming to its conclusion regarding the truth or otherwise of the allegations; The provisions of the Evidence Act is to apply to the committee proceedings; At the conclusion of hearing, the committee may call for written addresses; Proceedings and announcement and announcement of the committee decision shall be held in public; If the committee finds that the allegations have not been proved, it shall record its findings; If it finds that the allegations are proved, it may give the following directions:

  1. a) Order the registrar of the Supreme Court to strike off the legal practitioner’s name;
  2. b) Suspend the practitioner from practice;

(c)   Order the practitioner to refund money or hand over documents in his possession;

(d) Admonish the practitioner,

(e) Directions made by the committee are to be gazette.

It must be stressed here that where the conduct of a legal practitioner is a conduct incompatible with his status as a legal practitioner, then his name cannot be struck off the roll; the appropriate punishment is either suspension or admonition. Where directions are made by the LPDC, an affected legal practitioner has 28 days within which to appeal. The direction shall not be effective save after the 28 days stipulated for an appeal. Where there is no appeal or where there is an appeal but is withdrawn or struck out or dismissed, the directions become effective.

Appeals from the decision of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee lie to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The Supreme Court and the Chief Justice also constitute disciplinary authorities.

Where the name of a legal practitioner has been struck off the role or suspended, an application for restoration can be made to the Disciplinary Committee or the Chief Justice or the Supreme Court depending on who ordered the striking off of the name. The following considerations are normally taken:

  1. The gravity of the offence or offences necessitating the striking off or the suspension order as the case may be;
  2. Whether there is sufficient evidence of genuine remorse shown by the applicant in the period between the striking off of the name and the submission of the application;
  • Whether in all the circumstances of the case, the court is satisfied that the applicant has in the intervening years become a fit and proper person to be incorporated as a member of the legal profession.


The list of misconducts that lawyers could be punished for in Nigeria and in different parts of the world is inexhaustible. Such misconducts include advertisement, contempt of court, Solicitor making himself a beneficiary of a will and offering a bribe to a judge. On many occasions, the legal profession has also frowned upon champerty, negligent handling of a client’s case, making extra-judicial statement prejudicial to a pending matter, in-house lawyers engaging in private practice, failure to pay practicing fee, lateness in paying practicing fee, and sundry procedural misconducts as filing frivolous matters.



A disciplined citizenry will surely participate in the control of indiscipline in their society. This is a duty of each and every citizen in any society such duties can be performed in a number of ways i.e. by paying out taxes, by refusing to involve ourselves in corrupt or undisciplined activities and practices. It is also our duty to expose any act of indiscipline at societal units of interaction i.e. at home, school or work. A citizen should be hardworking, patriotic, responsible and always ready to defend his/her country at all times. A citizen should accept and cooperates with those leaders that tend to unite them and transcend religious, cultural and ethnic differences. A citizen should liaise with the police in detecting and reporting deviancy and other social problems in society. Such information should be protected and rewarded. If the police and the public relations are more cordial, people will be willing to help in detecting and curtailing indiscipline in society.


According to a popular adage ‘”poverty is the root cause of all evils” This becomes more of a problem when it exists side by side with AFFLUENCE. It is the duty of the state to ensure that a greater percentage of its citizenry live above poverty line. Poverty eradication can be done through various means. Budgetary measures which ensures full employment for all, control resources effectively and ensure a sound productive base for the economy. These will help greatly. Fiscal and monetary measures could also be geared towards control of inflation and currency stabilization. Once poverty can be eradicated, the citizenry will be more disciplined, honest and hard working.


Leadership by example is the best form of leadership.   Once a leader with leadership qualities implements such qualities on his person, he easily and simply transmits them to the followership. As such, an undisciplined leader i.e. corrupt or fraudulent or morally bankrupt will definitely produce a similar followership. A disciplined leadership will not aggravate inequalities in society. Rather, he will cultivate a situation whereby everybody is given equal opportunities in life. A disciplined leadership will neither accept nor condone indiscipline in all aspects of social life. In addition, he should be able to eschew all vices in private and public life including corruption, dishonesty, electoral malpractice like self-succession, ethnic and religious bigotry.


As Indiscipline is not so clearly defined as crime in the judicial sense, but a form of deviation from modes and ethic of society, solutions are mainly left to the family and community. As such solutions include: Ensuring stability in the family, adequate/proper socialization, proper adherence to religious tenets, parental and peer group supervisions     and controlling the influence of mass media.

  1. CCT

Code of Conduct Bureau/Tribunal: The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979 Constitution, in its sections 15-20 made provision for a Code of Conduct Bureau and a Code Conduct Tribunals. This is an important step towards controlling corruption and indiscipline by making all public officers (from the president, down wards) to declare their personal asserts before their appointment in office or after leaving office. The Code of Conduct Bureau is a body with nine (9) members including a chairman. It’s responsibilities include; to receive declaration by public officer, to retain custody of such declarations, to examine such declaration and to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the code and to receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of this code and to refer such cases to the Code of Conduct Tribunal where necessary.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal is established by the President and headed by a chairman. The tribunal has the power to try and punish all officers found guilty of contravening any of the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau. Punishment range from vacation of an officer’s office, seizure and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired in abuse of or corruption of office. (To be continued).


“In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.” (Earl Warren).

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Voice of Emancipation: Thriving in a Global Crisis




By Kayode Emola

The last year has been a nightmare for the common man, finding himself responsible for footing the bills of high inflation, high interest, and the cost of living crisis, in the midst of a number of trying situations. Many Western leaders want us to believe that these all stem from the conflict in Russia; yet they cannot justify how, in these same circumstances, the rich are getting richer, and energy companies are declaring hefty profits. Whilst at the same time, the poor around the world have been left behind to fend for themselves through all of these tribulations.

Many of us are oblivious to the wider picture, unconcerned with the global financial tsunami that is currently stirring. However, we are all feeling the effects of inflation and the rising costs of everyday items; none of us is insulated, even in our ignorance. Therefore, I am going to discuss a few of the global events and potential ways to mitigate the challenges. For those who are conscious, this may serve as a precaution to prevent them from falling into a ditch; whilst for the less aware, maybe a note of caution will manage to bring them back on track.

It is undeniable that inflation is biting hard, causing prices of everyday goods to spiral out of control. A large contributory factor in this was the recklessly excessive printing of money by countries in Europe and America during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, with their economies suffering, it raises speculation about whether this has given the West a hidden agenda in terms of their approach to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Unquestionably, in the circumstance of war, certain parties are guaranteed to profit, namely, those whose business interests lie in the production of munitions. One may therefore infer that such parties would have a vested interest in prolonging the conflict, rather than dispensing with rapid and decisive intervention.

No one can justify Russia’s use of force; however, a more meaningful approach could have been taken to avert the war. Russia had amassed troops at the border of Ukraine for over a month, thinking that this will give it leverage in negotiating with NATO and the European Union (EU) for Ukraine’s continued exclusion from these entities.

Perhaps if the United Nation had intervened in time, the situation could have been de-escalated in a timely and professional manner. Instead, Russia felt unheard by the Western democracies; and, as a result, we all are paying the high price, whether we like it or not. The thought that the war is likely to go on for several more years is one that should chill the spine of every person around the world.

What is currently Happening?

Recently, we have seen the impact caused by the current crisis on the banking sector. Rising inflation has caused central banks to raise interest rates worldwide. Peripheral banks that had sold long-term products at lower interest rates now have to pay the difference themselves, thereby potentially jeopardising their own financial stability.

Secondly, banks that have invested in long-term government bonds have seen the value of those bonds fall. This has not only put customers’ money at risk, but the market response to the two conditions has caused two internationally renowned global banks (Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse) to have to be forcefully taken over. Furthermore, the Germany-based Deutsch bank is also having trouble. It takes only one event or mistake for everything to spiral out of control, and the whole house falls like a pack of cards.

People have seen their electricity and gas bills triple in recent months; and pump prices of diesel and petrol have been similarly impacted. An average household in the UK that was previously paying less than £80 per calendar month are now paying in excess of £300 pcm just to keep their homes warm. Despite all of this, major energy companies are still declaring serious growth and profit. Just this week, it was reported that the chief executive of British Gas, Chris O’Shea, had been awarded a performance bonus of £1.4m last year, bringing his salary for 2022 up to £4.5m. Yet concurrently millions of ordinary people are unable to afford to even heat their homes.

Not only are energy costs increasing aggressively, but the central banks’ rising interest rates have led to mortgage rates returning to levels not seen since 2006, prior to the financial crisis. This has caused monthly mortgage repayment figures to rise by over £450 pcm, in some cases, a situation which is clearly unsustainable in the long run.

For my Yoruba folks, what does this mean for our survival? The mere fact that we are in Nigeria already sets us at a disadvantage when attempting to navigate the choppy waters of the global crisis. Despite the enormous challenges facing the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria last week increased its interest rates to 18%.

It is becoming clear that we must find a way to create our own financial system, in order to mitigate against soaring interest rates and inflation. We must put measures in place to ensure that the disastrous naira redesign policy, which devastated millions of our people, cannot recur in the future. A self-contained financial ecosystem built on blockchain technology would allow us to protect ourselves from hostile government policies. This would also help our people safeguard money for a rainy day.

Ultimately, we Yoruba need our own financial system. However, this is likely to be impossible until we exit from Nigeria. In the meantime, whilst we await the birth of our Yoruba nation, I implore us all to be aware that we are living in precarious times wherein only the prepared can survive. This is not the time to embark on frivolous spending, but rather the time to be careful and judicious with our finances. Protect your upside and ensure that your downside is covered, so that when the storms get heavier, you will be able to not only survive but thrive, when others are complaining.

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Get Connected to Succeed by Henry Ukazu




Dear Destiny Friends,

One of the best things that can happen to any person is getting connected. Not only that, but having the best of connections. Connections come in various ways. There is always a distinct difference in the way you connect with yourself, children, parents, friends, colleagues, mentors, strangers, teachers, and boss. One must know what works with these people to connect with them, otherwise it might be difficult to get your desire, especially when it relates to opportunities.

You cannot underscore the importance of human or personal relationships. Despite getting formal education, good grades, and being the best in what you do, you must make an intentional effort to put yourself out there, and this entails relating with people both formally and informally.

The importance of human connection cannot be overemphasized; it’s just like a man who wants to get close to a lady. You must understand the love language, which can be words affirmation, gifts, acts of services or physical touch. All these entail connecting with the other person in the way they understand. When you use words instead of gifts, the lady might not respond positively; when you use gifts instead of time, you might miss the person, same way if you use words, gifts, physical touch but don’t show little act of service, she might see you as an unattractive being. This is why connection is very important.

Apart from being educated and doing what you need to do to succeed, did you know you need connection to succeed? Yes, you need connection to succeed because you might be the best singer, but if you don’t get an opportunity to sing, nobody might hear your voice. You might be the best writer, but if nobody gives you an opportunity to write, your work might not see the light of the day. We all need an opportunity to showcase our work to get publicity. The big question we need to ask ourselves is how do we connect to people?

Connection works in different ways. Everyone needs to have a connection. Your connection can be God, who you relate with spiritually; it can also be a mentor or benefactor who has the platform or access to the publicity you need. Most people even connect to a “god” who assists them with false wealth or opportunity. Your connection can be from the school you attended, social engagement/networking group you belong to or even strangers you meet on the streets. If you can engage them in fruitful conversation, you are setting up yourself for success

Connection can also be through a referral, recommendation, through marketing efforts, or an established platform. It could also be via your online presence where you share your work (article or videos)

To have the success you want, you need a connection with yourself, others, and your work. For connection to be effective, you must understand how your public, private and secret life works. Your public life is the way you relate with people while in public space, your private life relates with the way you relate with your family and close friends, while your secret life relates with the way you relate with yourself. Only you know this part of you, that’s why self discovery is very important. Let me explain how this works.


Self Leadership is a skill that needs to be developed if you are to maximize the potential you were given. You cannot connect with yourself if you don’t understand yourself. It is important to state that self-connection is the most fundamental and crucial of all connections because it will allow you to bring out the best in you, which means you’ll be able to tap into a purpose that lights up your life. It may come in the form of inner guidance, intuition etc. This connection is personal and can only be understood by you.


As generally stated, success comes with a team. You need people to succeed in life. Without people in your life, your life might be hollow, especially when you need to get work done and can’t do it alone. While most problems you encounter stem from a connection to people, you wouldn’t want to live without them. It is instructive to note that connecting with the right people is hard and getting them to do things for you is even harder.


You can connect with other people with your work. The desire to produce, contribute or create is in each and everyone of us. We all want the opportunity to engage in work that gives us great pleasure while being valued and handsomely rewarded. It is when you do your work perfectly well that your value will be noticed and appreciated.

A critical area of connecting with people is networking. Networking is about establishing, building, and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet. Like I always say, we live in a connected and social economy with the invention of the internet and social media where the world is now a global village.

Do you know that networking has gone global? Yes, who you know might open the door for you, but who knows you will give you the seat. This is because you might know former President Obama, but the big question is, does Obama know you? You might know Henry Ukazu due to his global works on youths and Human Capacity Development, but does Henry Ukazu know you?

Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships -professional and personal – it can pay you back dividends throughout the course of your career because networking is a currency.

Networking is essential since it will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.

In conclusion, take time out today to think about the connections you have in your life and ask yourself, am I plugged into the right connection that will connect me to the success I desire? That should be your food for thought.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright to Success. He can be reached

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The Flames of Character: Maximize your ‘Self’ for Global Impacts




By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“The word ‘SELF’ connotes:

Sharing with


Loving unconditionally, and

Finding peace in your old age.

Your ‘SELF’ is what makes you or mar you. it is up to you to decide what to do with your “SELF””–  Tolulope A. Adegoke, Ph.D., MNIM, FIMC, CMC, CMS

If you do not think about the future, you may not have a brighter one.

If you cannot take a major step, you cannot have a future.

It is you acting deliberately in line with your goals.

Character is who you are when no one is watching. Charm is a woman’s strength, while strength is a man’s charm

Our job is not to see through one another, but to see one another through.

One of the most difficult thing to give away is kindness, because it is like a baton which usually return in unexpected manners.

When we hurt, there is no sweeter revenge than to forgive.

For every minute of anger, it is said that sixty (60) seconds of happiness is lost.

So, why worry? Chances make our parents, but choices make our friends.

Although, our tongues weigh practically nothing,

But how come so few a people can bridle it.

If you need a position, you must be positioned enough to have a mission.

If you need to fulfil your mission, you must have a clear vision.

Refuel your vision, through meditation for rejuvenation and revitalization.

To arrive at your mission, you must embrace stable or consistent submission.

If you must achieve your vision, then you must suspend the television for a while.

If you desire to be on the television, you must avoid the television as an addiction.

The height of your position is determined by the visions that you are exposed to.

And to have acute breakthroughs, you must actively breakthrough in your thoughts and in your words (and works).

One major thing that must break for you to go through is the ‘SELF’ in you…

The word ‘SELF’ connotes:

Sharing with Everyone, Loving unconditionally, and Finding peace in your old age.

Your ‘SELF’ is what makes you or mar you. it is up to you to decide what to do with your ‘SELF’.

Listen and download Spoken word single (MP3), titled: “CHARACTER” By Tolulope A. Adegoke via the link below:

OR contact:

Thank you!

Dr. Tolulope A. Adegoke is an accredited ISO 20700 Effective Leadership Trainer

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