SERAP calls for tougher sanctions against corrupt lawyers

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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
Following growing allegations of corruption against some senior lawyers and their alleged complicity or facilitation of judicial corruption, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called “for tougher sanctions against those found to be involved if large scale political corruption is to be meaningfully combated and corruption-free judiciary is to become a reality.”
In a statement issued and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni on Sunday, the organisation said, “It’s not only professional misconduct but also a crime for a lawyer to knowingly assist or induce another to break, violate or attempt to violate the rules of professional conduct or commit a corrupt act and other action prejudicial to the administration of justice that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”
“Lawyers are officers in the temple of justice but improperly influencing a public official to achieve results by means that violate lawyers’ rules of professional conduct or knowingly assisting a judge or judicial officer in conduct that violates applicable rules of judicial conduct or other laws is a clear negation of this sacred duty.”
“Yet, corrupt lawyers and judges often get away with their misconduct and crime. This impunity has contributed to the spo­radic and lax prosecution and punishment of officials responsible for large-scale corruption, while, conversely, imposing severe sanctions for petty corruption and criminals, so as to give the impression of justice. This situation violates the underlying legal and moral assumptions that all persons will be treated equally, fairly, and with respect.”
“Any lawyer who acts in such a way as to be directly responsible for the act of corruption or acts as part of a conspiracy to corrupt should face liability as a “principal” offender.” Even where a lawyer is not directly responsible for the act of corruption …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper