If you Respect Us, We would be Loyal; Adesina Ogunlana to Lagos CJ


Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, suit and indoorChairman of Ikeja NBA Branch, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana told the new Chief Judge of Lagos State that members of the Lagos bar would give maximum loyalty and support to the Bench.

Adesina who addressed the gathering of lawyers and judges at the recently held bar and bench parley in Lagos expressed satisfaction with the attitude of the Chief Judge Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke and some of the judges towards the bar.

In his usual frank approach, the ever dynamic NBA leader spoke his mind on issues of mutual interest between the bar and the bench.

Read his uncut speech below:

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My Lord, the honourable Chief Judge of Lago state, Milords , and my colleagues, if it appears my voice is slurring , it is because I have been asking my self whether I was dreaming . There have been earlier Bar and Bench Forum meetings before this but two things in my view make this one unique and different. First is that the chief judge is pressing the anti corruption mode, button repeatedly , today and since the past three weeks. Iam rather surprised. Can this really be true. I am pinching myself, is this real . A chief judge preaching anti corruption in the Lagos state, the very place we have been punished for fighting corruption and still being punished. The corruption is not only in the Bench ,it is also in he Bar. I Remember about seven years ago, no, nine years ago , a senior advocate told me ‘ You continue with what you are doing, we cannot do it, because we have climbed up the Nigerian way.’

Today brings tears to my eyes and a sense of dejavu. I remember the South Africans , how they felt in 1991 , not so much that Nelson Mandela would become the president but that they had the right to vote . The white men came to South Africa in 1688 and the blacks have been there since forever yet it was the white that was ruling them . I remember 1994. A group of students had been expelled but a new Vice Chancellor came and invited them to a meeting . At the meeting the VC said to the students that he would recall them, he would instruct the schools lawyer BO BENSON to withdraw the court case. Then one of the students said to the VC ‘ Sir , you are lying! The VC was shocked but the student explained thus ….I said so because vice chancellors before you used to lie to us! I hope this would not be the case here because I have known the chief judge before now .

Second reason why I wondered whether I was dreaming was hearing Hon Justice Okuwobi referring to members of the Bar here ‘ my colleagues’. My colleagues? This is this first time in my life I hear a judge referring to lawyers as colleagues. They normally regard and treat us as scum. The other day I heard a new one from a judge who called some lawyers ‘ accidental lawyers ‘ But can we say we have accidental judges too? They have the same mentality as many Vice Chancellors who regard students union leaders as irresponsible. Wise ones do things differently , they draw their students closer , treat them with respect and get the best from them .Vice Chancellors like Wande Abimbola, Lanre Fagbohun, Bababunmi etc.

I have heard the CJ asking for the support of the Bar , but if we are treated with respect, we shall give more than support, we shall give loyalty and we shall have the chief judges back. Well the chief judge asked for the support of the Bar , but I think the Judges too should support the Chief Judge . Because we know of a former chief judge who was muscular , stressing the independence of the judiciary , only for the CJ to be called Madam Separation of Power .

Thank you .

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