The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau SAN OON has declared that the Nigerian judiciary is not corrupt and that the legal profession in Nigeria cannot be compromised.
In his address at the valedictory court session held yesterday 20th October, 2022 in honour of Hon. Justice Mojeed Adekunle Owoade, retired Justice of the Court of Appeal at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, the NBA President decried the narratives that Nigerian judges are corrupt and can be compromised.
In his words, “The fact that there may be some bad eggs amongst us, and this I say for both the Bench and the Bar, does not justify the characterization of the entire judiciary and the legal profession as generally corrupt. The judiciary and indeed the legal profession in Nigeria consist of distinguished men and women that have worked and are still working honestly, sincerely and with integrity to contribute their quota to the development of this nation.”He also stated that, “the fact that the toe in a body has turned gangrenous does not make the entire body rotten. And if the toe is so infected, the way to save the body is to amputate the toe.
That is what we must do as members of the legal profession; either on the Bench or Bar and we must speak loudly to the nation about who we truly are, to correct that negative perception. If we do not do so, it will be an abdication of duty on our part, and if we completely lose the confidence of the public, resort to self-help and the attendant chaos will be inevitable. We must break the silence!”
While acknowledging that the challenges faced in the system of administration of justice in Nigeria include the issue of manpower at the Bench, the NBA President also urged for better Conditions of Service for judicial officers.
Mr. Maikyau described Hon. Justice Owoade (rtd) as one of the numerous examples of integrity, honesty and excellence in the legal profession and congratulated the jurist on the excellent service record and glorious exit from the Bench.