WHEN WILL NIGERIAN LAWYERS STOP WEARING GOWNS AND RAGS?
It is discomfiting to see supposedly “learned” Nigerian lawyers wearing black robes and wigs (rags) made from the tails of dead English horses, sweating in hot tropical court rooms to preserve a colonial mentality. Does a gown and wig make a lawyer? The greatest country once ruled by the British, the US of A does not practice this type of legal masquerading. In these days of terror, one who is deranged and is out to harm lawyers will find it extremely easy to pick out the legal masquerades. However, if Nigerian lawyers insist on this anachronistic and un-tropical attire, I suggest that every profession be made to wear their uniforms at all times in public.
Any doctor that appears in public without a lab coat is liable to six months imprisonment without the option of a fine. The same punishment applies to palm wine tappers without a loin cloth draped around their waist, engineers and motor mechanics without overalls, nurses without a gown and cap, cattle rearers without a dashiki and bulala and so on. Anybody who is not professionally dressed is a loafer, miscreant, or robber and should immediately be arrested for questioning.
Some may argue that they are dressed as masquerades only in court. The same privilege should be extended to any professional appearing in court to testify. The lawyers by appearing as masquerades have an undue advantage over the other groups. Nigerians fear masquerades! Courts are public places and you can defend yourself under the law. When you are pitted against a masquerade in court, the winner of the legal tussle is obvious. It is the masquerade.