Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN has donated an ultra-modern high courtroom to the Ekiti State high court, Ikere judicial division.
Speaking during the official commissioning of the complex in Ikere-Ekiti on Thursday, the chairman of the Body of Benchers noted that the gesture was informed in view of his commitment to the advancement of the judicial sector with modern facilities.
The event was attended by the Governor of the state, Biodun Oyebanji; president of the court of appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem; Acting chief justice of Kwara state, Justice Abiodun Adebara; special adviser to the president on political matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, top senior lawyers and justices, among others.
Olanipekun explained that his decision to build and donate the complex in his community was a result of calls received from stakeholders from the law profession on the poor condition of the high court complex making it difficult for judges and lawyers to carry out their duties.
He said, “I started receiving Macedonian calls from my primary constituency that the High Court Complex in my hometown was derelict to the extent that it had become very unconducive and almost inhabitable for judges and lawyers to carry out their sacred duties in the temple of justice.
“We all know what administration of justice entails, its raison d’etre , its very essence to humanity as well as its primary importance to the existence of mankind. Justice is at the heart and hub of any meaningful and peaceful co-existence, either among governments, governments and citizens or citizens inter see.”
He called on government at all levels including private individuals to pay attention to what he described as the deteriorating state of court facilities in the country, noting that a well-equipped court room would build litigants’ confidence in our judicial system.
“The walls and roofs of a good number of our courtrooms are collapsing and caving in. Basic facilities such as toilets are not available in a good number of courts all over the country; in most instances, functional libraries are not available.
“The ambience of a typical or average courtroom should reflect an atmosphere of learning which judges and lawyers subscribe to, and are known for rather than representing both from within and without, a rough, untidy, unclean and unkept theatre,” he said.
The state governor, Biodun Oyebanji commended Olanipekun for the gesture to the judiciary, describing it as noble and unprecedented, adding that the new court room would in no small measure enhance the administration of justice.
The governor who commissioned the new court room explained that his administration would remain committed to the development of the state’s judiciary with effective policies and provision of conducive environment, calling on individuals to contribute to the development of the society and not leave everything to the government.
Oyebanji said, “There is no doubt, that Chief Olanipekun is a man who takes pleasure in giving back to the society and institutions that once nurtured him. This is yet another demonstration of his commitment to giving back to the law profession where he has made his mark as a distinguished member of the Bar and Bench.
“As a government, our administration understands the importance of law and order to the progress and development of our state. We are committed to effective administration of justice that serves the public by ensuring that condition of our courts and the welfare of the judicial officers are well attended to.”
Speaking, the chief judge of Ekiti state, Justice Oyewole Adeyeye who lamented the growing infrastructure decay in the judicial sector, lauded the former NBA president for the timely donation of the edifice, which he said would enhance effective administration of justice in the state.
Adeyeye said, “Our prayer was for the renovation of the existing structure; the learned silk by way of consequential order, granted us a brand new fully furnished court complex. That the project was delivered within such a record time is not only a testimony to determination and commitment but also a manifestation of a promise kept.
“Let it be quickly stated however that today’s occasion is by no means an admission of failure or helplessness on the part of the government in its social contract with the people through the provision of enabling facilities for service delivery.
“Rather it is testimony to the need for the private sector to intervene when necessary in order for the wheels of governance not to grind to a halt.”