By Edikan Ekanem.

More than a decade ago, I was hospitalized for a few weeks.

In the same ward with me was a man who went through severe pains and was struggling to heal.

This man suffered from an injection abscess. The redness of the skin and pus formation surrounding the physical inflammation which later resulted in incision and drainage was not a pleasant course for this patient.

Unfortunately, the pain could have been avoided only if he used a qualified medical practitioner to administer the injection.

Put it differently, the pains and hospitalization were the results of using an unqualified person to administer the injection. This was an avoidable scenario.

“He has been giving people injections for ages, this was not his first time. We call him ‘doctor’ the way we call you too” he explained further. Unfortunately, this sad development almost took his life.

Sadly, coupled with the pains and hospitalization, he ended up spending ten times the amount he could have spent to get the proper administration of his injection. Did he learn a lesson from it? I do not know.

Another thing I do not know is whether he patronized the “quack doctor” out of ignorance or permissiveness, having known the possibility and likelihood of an impending disaster as it happened.

If he acted out of ignorance, he learnt the lessons the hard way; if he tried economizing resources, it did not still end well; if he wanted to save time and stress, he expended more.

Why do I tell this story?

From a subjective and objective, empirical and hypothetical analysis, most entrepreneurs seem to wear the shoes of this patient and act in a like manner. The reasons for their actions, we do not know.

For the past six months, 75% of the legal projects (Business registrations, legal documentation, regulatory compliance etc) I have worked on for SMEs and business owners are similar to the above-narrated scenario. They either tried themselves or hired incapable hands.

Would you prefer legal surgery?

Amusingly, these friends would expect you to perform magic in getting their work ready and delivered within their time frame, especially when a big sum or contract is at stake. Well, the surgeon above did not perform a miracle to heal the incision, nor can I do such.

Granted, it is not in contention that we live in the internet age where access to information is no big deal, but this does not in any way eliminate or substitute professionalism. Seek professional advice when necessary.

While it is not forbidden to engage service providers with an online presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., do not sleep on their track record and competence. Ask well-meaning and polite questions. Anything worth doing should be done well.

I can only be a lawyer, and will always need a physician if I’m ill; an architect and engineer if I want to build; a pilot if I wish to fly; a developer for tech gigs, etc. Do not micromanage everything, make room for standardization.

Would you make a proper professional consultation to administer your injection, or would you take chances that may result in legal or other professional abscesses, incisions, and drainages? The choice is yours.

Remember, that unprofessionalism works out today either by omission or commission does not mean it will always work out. Before you rebuke misfortune, never forget that we have limitations.

As for me, whether you contact me to administer a legal injection properly or for incision and drainage of an abscess, I assure you of empathy and best practices at all times.

Do not forget, I stitch in time saves nine.


Edikan Ekanem Esq is an Abuja based legal Practioner and Startup Advisor. He can be reached at

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