Oyo judiciary holds memorial court session for deceased former CJ

As lawyers call for real independence of judiciary

The Oyo State judiciary, on Wednesday, held a memorial court session inside the High Court 1 of the High Court premises, Ring Road, Ibadan, for a deceased former Chief Judge of the state judiciary, Justice John Olagoke Ige, who died on September 28, 2016.

The memorial court session, described as one of the greatest honour that could be given a member of the bench, was to pay tribute and give due recognition to the late Justice Ige, who many described as a quintessential and incorruptible judge.

Speaking at the court session, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, who described the late Justice Ige as a righteous judge, added that he had an eventful career on the bench and made indelible imprints in the legal horizon, having handled and determined landmark cases.

“In the course of his career, my Lord distinguished himself as a judicial officer per excellence.

“I have decided to downplay the events that happened in few days of my Lord’s career as a judicial administrator. This is due to the personal lessons I learnt from the scenario.

“I shall, however, want to give a summation of the character, life and times of that erudite judge we stand to celebrate today as graphically portrayed by the former Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olateru Olagbegi, in a speech delivered on October 14, 2008, to his lordship, “Honourable Justice Olagoke Ige, an erudite scholar, incorruptible judge, dependable and kindhearted friend, above all, a complete gentleman.

“The hallmarks of his lordship are humility, simplicity, diligence, thoroughness, patience and brutal candour. He is an erudite scholar and totally incorruptible,” Justice Abimbola stated.

Also speaking, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Seun Abimbola, stated that “the celebration of an upright and erudite judge like Justice Ige, brings to the forefront the need for complete reformation of the judiciary.”

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Oyo, Ibadan and Ogbomoso branches, while celebrating the late judge, also called for the independence of the judiciary, adding that “the invasion of judges home is a clear attack on the independence of the judiciary as well as an encroachment on the judicial arm of government.”

The body stated that its criticism of the invasion of judges home should not be misunderstood as support for corruption and indiscipline among judicial officers in the country but that the executive should not use any agency to usurp the duties statutorily given to the National Judicial Service Commission (NJC).