There was something different about the lawyers I met at the Court of Appeal today. Though I’ve met some of these lawyers in other courts, today at the magnificent Ilorin Complex, they all looked different. They were more smartly dressed, carried themselves with so much grace, spoke so beautifully and presented their cases in very organized manner.

At the end of our case, I jokingly told my senior that perhaps why some lawyers struggle at lower courts is due to the poor state of our courtrooms. Of course studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the state of our physical office environment and efficiency/productivity. And so, when you see a lawyer scratching his head to find words, look around the courtroom to find out if there is anything capable of inspiring a great intellectual presentation.

The Ilorin Court Appeal is well furnished. The courtroom is neat, spacious, cool with proper lighting. It is not like some of our lower courtrooms that have dilapidated/pitiable facilities. Those ones that are complete eyesores. Some of them have the ability to make even the most eloquent lawyer stammer.

At one Area Court here in Ilorin, a Judge sat during proceedings with ordinary bathroom slippers. I had wanted to question this but looking at the court building, I understood why. If you were driving by the road and someone pointed at the court building and said it was a chicken pen, you wouldn’t doubt. How then was I to expect a Judge to put on his Christmas shoes in such facilities.

In summary, we need do better on the state of our courtrooms.

Chekwube Nwa-Abugu Peters

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