Christian Sesugh Hon studied Law at the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom. He was called to the Bar last year. In this interview with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, Christian, the son of Sebastin Hon (SAN), speaks on why he studied law, his expectations from the Bar and sundry issues.
Why did you study law?
I chose to study law because I saw it as a means of helping incarcerated individuals due to lack of quality legal representation. I have always been passionate about human rights and quality representation of defendants at trial.
If not law, which other profession would you have gone into?
I have never really given any thought to what I would have chosen besides law. However, I seem to admire the business management and the economic side of things.
How did your parents influence your choice of career. Did you choose to study law because your father, SebastianT. Hon, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria?
I was not influenced by either of them to make the choice. But I must say that I was inspired by my dad and given support by my parents. I am lucky to be the son of a fantastic lawyer who attained the rank of (SAN) at a very young age. One of my targets is to attain the rank much earlier than him by God’s grace!
Do you have any regrets for being a lawyer?
I don’t think I can describe it as regret. What I feel is best described as surprise at what the profession actually entails. In the course of my training in the university and at the Nigerian Law School, no one prepared me for the underhand tactics some lawyers employ. With that being said, I have no regrets and I am continually grateful to God for the experience so far.
Which aspect of the profession do you like best and what is your vision for the profession?
I like all aspects of law. But I see myself as a litigation person. My vision for the legal profession is that in the future, hopefully near future, the judicial system dispenses justice faster. Quick dispensation of justice will easily win back the confidence of the people on the system.
Would you like to go to the Bench or remain at the Bar?
I would most definitely remain at the bar. I don’t see myself on the bench at any point in my lifetime.
What is your view about the role of technology in the legal profession?
Technology has come to stay. The legal profession, as with many others, cannot be left out of the fray. We now have more than one electronic law report system. The Supreme Court has initiated the legal mail system. It is only a matter of time before records of proceedings are no longer typed, but are caught on video. It is a welcome development, which would eliminate certain issues and improve the quality of legal services in Nigeria.
The Supreme Court has already started the process of legal mail. It is long overdue and something I have discussed with my close peers previously. At this stage I can only say that I hope the project records huge success across the country.
How would you appraise the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government?
I would describe it as unsuccessful so far. There has been very little success as regards convictions. The Federal Government must focus on the corrupt practices, rather than the persons committing them. In other words party politics must not be allowed to enter the fray or the people will lose confidence in the ability of the government to fight corruption.
What are your expectations from the Nigerian Bar Association ( NBA)?
The NBA should be made more inclusive of young lawyers. Steps are being made in this regard, but more needs to be done. This will provide an avenue for discussion on the way forward. As regards the welfare of young lawyers, perhaps a committee should be set up to determine the remuneration of young lawyers according to their years post call. Failure to comply should mean they cannot contest for positions within the NBA.