A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Jubrin Okutepa, has charged the new acting Chief Judge of FCT High Court, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, to expose lawyers who engage in bribing and lobbying judges and other judicial officers to obtain favorable judgement.
This was contained in his congratulatory message to the Honorable Justice on his elevation as the new Chief Judge of FCT judiciary.
The statement reads;
On behalf of myself, my family and law firm, I congratulate your lordship on your appointment and swearing in as the Hon. Ag. Chief Judge of the FCT Judiciary.
- My lord your appointment by the President and commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Ag. Chief Judge of FCT and the subsequent swearing on the 16th day of August 2021 by the Hon. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, did not come to me and any right-thinking Nigerian as a surprise.
My Lord I rejoice with you and your family over this well-deserved appointment and your subsequent assumption of office. There is no doubt my lord that you have distinguished yourself both at the Bar and on the Bench. The undeniable facts testify to your records as a jurist of impeccable record of great industry and credit. The testimony of this is shown in your appointment and subsequent swearing in as the Hon the Ag. Chief Judge of FCT. Your lordship’s appointment as the Hon the Ag. Chief Judge of FCT is a demonstration of the implicit confidence reposed in your lordship.
My lord there is no doubt that as the Hon. CJ of FCT, a lot of us within and outside the legal circle will be looking unto you to build a robust judiciary that does not only deliver judgments promptly and on time, but that judiciary that delivers justice in judgments. Your lordship may need to look at enforcement of judgments and orders which have become so difficult in Nigeria.
There is equally no doubt that our judges and judicial officers are exposed to many temptations. My lord, as you assume the mantle of leadership as number one judicial officer of FCT, you must do something about the exposure of our judicial officers to the manipulations of political influences. I plead with you to build the FCT Judiciary in the most robust and sound driven manner with uncompromising integrity. Your lordship can do it and you will do it. Our judges and judicial officers must be given enforceable code of conduct that insulates them from social pollutions and manipulations. My lord, as you take over, you need to look into the conduct of some judicial officers who do not sit on time, and who most often abandoned their duty posts for social functions.
I urge your lordship to go for collaboration between the leadership of the Bar and the Bench. In this vein a meeting of Bar and Bench on quarterly basis may not be out of place where internal issues can be robustly discussed and tackled. My lord I further urge your lordship to take the issue of enforcement of judgments seriously. I urge your lordship to make a case for standing police in the Sheriff Departments of our Courts. These police men are to take directions only from the Chief Registrar of FCT High Court.
The code of conduct in the legal profession must be enforced strictly against lawyers who attempt to pollute the stream of justice. Lawyers who lobby judicial officers and judges for favour in judgement and other judicial favour must be exposed and reported to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers.
My lord you have a date with history and I know just as you do that where both of us come from, we value hard work, commitments, discipline and dedication to duty. I know you will not fail in this assignment. I know we set standards for others to follow. I know that your lordship will set standards never set before in FCT judiciary in this well-deserved appointment. I wish your lordship grace, wisdom and knowledge to lead in the fear of God and navigate the affairs of FCT Judiciary to an enviable height never attained before.
Once again, my lord, congratulations.
Jibrin Samuel Okutepa SAN
J.S.Okutepa SAN and Company.