- If your principal in the chambers/office pays your Bar practicing Fees (BPF) or branch dues/levy, it is okay; such is even encouraged.
- If a lawyer or senior who is an aspirant in an upcoming NBA Election (or a person campaigning for a candidate) pays your BPF, during the election time, it is unethical; it is vote-buying; it’s corruption.
- If a Learned senior who is not an aspirant and who is not campaigning for an aspirant in an upcoming NBA Election pays your BPF, it is nothing unethical. It is okay.
- But an unsolicited , sudden offer from a senior or indeed anyone (even if not a candidate nor campaigning for a candidate) to pay your BPF during an NBA election time should ORDINARILY put a wise lawyer on notice that something may be fishy!
- The question to ask when a person you know is a candidate in an upcoming NBA Election, or a supporter of a coordinate, approaches you to pay your BPF or other NBA levies during an election year is, “Has the same person paid or been paying the BPF for me in the previous years?If the answer is “Yes,” it is not vote-buying.
If the answer is “No,” it is vote-buying and unethical.
NOTE: Things are generally hard in our country. The plight of most young lawyers is appalling. No doubt about this. But allowing a candidate in an NBA election or his supporter to pay your BPF does not alleviate the your suffering, neither does such in any way improve your economic or professional plight. We need to be free to voluntarily decide to put in place only candidates that respect our self-worth and would thereafter work to improve upon our current condition as lawyers and on the fate of the legal profession in Nigeria.