By Olalekan Awojodu
‘The silence of of the judiciary should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness. By nature of our work, we are conservative but not conquered species and should not be pushed further than this by any individual, institutions or agencies of the government,” declared the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.
Justice Muhammad made this declaration on Wednesday as the carried out the swearing in of 72 newly conferred Senior Advocates of Nigeria in Abuja. Rank of Senior Advocate is conferred on deserving lawyers in both the advocates and academic categories.
The eminent legal practitioners have been thoroughly screened, examined and found worthy in character and practice to be conferred with the highly coveted rank by the Legal Practitioners privileges Committee (LPPC).
The activities marks the special session of the Supreme Court and the commencement of the 2021/2022 legal year. Muhammad who described the ceremony as age long tradition noted further that the new SANs have, in all ramifications and by all standards, excelled in the practice of law and subsequently conferred with the rank.
While charging Judges to do quick self assessment in the line of duty, he further urged them to forge ahead with the right mindset and disposition to attain more impactful results.
He said, ” The Supreme Court; and by extension, the Nigerian Judiciary, has fared well in the out gone legal year even though the horizon was literally roughened by overwhelming challenges.
“As this new legal year unfolds, we will like to assure you that we are determined to work assiduously to evolve a judiciary that will remarkably be the pride of Nigerians, home and abroad.
On the invasion of Justice Mary Odili’s residence by men suspected to be security operatives, the CJN said the bench was jolted with the embarrassing news of the invasion of her official residence, saying they have had enough dosage of such shenanigans.
‘The silence of of the judiciary should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness. By nature of our work, we are conservative but not conquered species and should not be pushed further than this by any individual, institutions or agencies of the government,” he said.
The CJN equally used the opportunity presented by the occasion to lament the set back caused by the protracted strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), saying it came with excruciating impact on smooth dispensation of justice.
Also speaking at the event, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami described the conferment of SANship as privileges. Malami who praised the judiciary noted that the arm of government has continued to complement other arms of government inspite of emerging challenges foisted on it by COVID 19, insecurity and dwindling economy, saying the judiciary has helped in the preservation of the country’s hard earned democracy.
“I want to state categorically that the LPPC have done a good job by putting forward deserving and qualifying lawyers, saying they must ensure that due process is followed in subsequent selection,” Malami concluded.