From Godwin Tsa, Abuja.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has said that It will not be out of place for lawyers to subject Judges in the country to criticism where necessary as a step to ensuring improvement in the justice delivery system.
Justice Mohammad however said that such criticism must be offered in good faith and objectivity that will propel judicial officers on the bench to enhanced performance.
The CJN spoke in Abuja on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his call-to-bar along with some Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Judges in other courts and senior lawyers in the country.
At the occasion, the CJN said that Lawyers at the bar and Justices on the bench must keep on cooperating with each other, helping one another in the task of ensuring quick dispensation of justice and advancing the course of the Justice delivery system.
“As critical stakeholders in the task of justice delivery, you have the responsibility of drawing our attention to where things are going wrong or on the verge of going wrong.
“You have the onerous task of guiding those of us on the bench because we must not fall as your representatives on the bench.
“As lawyers of 40 years post call to bar, I appreciate you for a number of reasons, being together for a very long time. For some, we see eye to eyee but it’s a distance for others far from Abuja.
“We are all successful in our endeavours. We will have to strengthen the relationship between each and every one of us. It is good that we put everything together for us to be together as it has been since we left law school. We must leave History.
“1981 set must leave a history. Let us think of something very important for the generality of our mates, I can testify that God has blessed our class. Each and every one of us is doing fantastically very well.
“As at today, I have not heard of any of us in okro soup trying to get out. We have become the pacesetters. I’m always very pleased to see our classmates. Let us keep our cooperation together so that over the years, we would have established a lineage for ever.
“Destiny is in the hands of God. We must keep on cooperating and take it that the progress of one is the progress of all. Iam urging us to see what we can leave for society.
Also speaking at the occasion, Chairman of the 1981 Set and Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome noted that the set was unarguably the most distinguished since the Law School opened its doors in 1962 to students.
He revealed that six Justices of the Supreme Court at the moment are from the set while the seventh person,. Justice Sidi Bage resigned to be coronated as Emir of Lafia, capital of Nasarawa state.
The six Justices of the apex court from the set are the CJN, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Olukayode Ariwoola, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Uwani Musa Abba’ji, Lawal Mohammed Garba and Adamu Kauri who lost his mother in Gombe on the day of the get-together occasion.
“The 1981 Set has produced seven Justices of the Supreme Court, two Justices of the Court of Appeal, four Judges of the federal and high court, nine Chief Judges of the high court of various states, two Presidents of the Customary Court of Appeal, and 30 Judges of various high courts in Nigeria.
Besides, Ozekhome revealed that the Set had also produced 16 Senior Advocates of Nigeria along with notable Professors of law and captains of industries who have been keeping the country’s economy on steady growth.
Chairman of the National Planning Committee, Chief Chris Uche SAN appreciated members of the Set for their commitment to ceremony and the confidence in the planning committee.