THE LEARNED SQUIB -A weekly column featured in the Squib magazine.

It is interesting to note that the magazine itself is not called the ‘Learned Squib’ but the column. More interestingly, this weekly article which became a column in the Squib magazine actually predated the magazine by about 8 months.

According to its editor, Adesina Ogunlana, The Learned Squib started as a ‘one-man protest’ against perceived wrongdoings and misconduct in the judiciary.

Says Ogunlana, “In the legal profession in Nigeria, pre-Squib, issues of the bar and bench were limited to annual meetings, bar/bench functions and the occasional workshop. Protest was virtually unknown; criticism was tepid: ‘humble petitions’ through official channels, the judicial authorities or the Attorney General. There was a general lukewarm attitude to complaints and a disinterest in addressing and redressing even severe and shocking instances of misconduct and abuse of judicial position and power.

There seemed to be a ‘cultic conspiracy’ not to rock the judicial boat with active and tangible reforms, especially of corrupt practices and other unprofessional and unethical behaviour on the part of lawyers and judges.
“I was not comfortable with a situation where people seemed to have no means of redress but could only grumble about the misdeeds of the people in the corridors of power. I was outraged and decided to speak out, and speak out on a platform created by me, determined by me, and financed by me, to be completely independent of any influence; so it was a completely new concept, writing articles which were initially distributed by hand to lawyers on selected topics.

This platform (Learned Squib) makes use of the very important medium (public opinion) which ordinarily lies dormant until mobilized for a particular end. My aim was to cause a change by jolting the authorities out of their apathy into action by ceaseless, caustic denunciations of misdeeds in the judiciary.
After about 8
articles, a regular reader suggested that I turn the article into a magazine. I bought the idea and the Squib magazine was born in March 2001. Of course, the Learned Squib column became an integral part of the magazine.”

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