The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad yesterday challenged six other Justices of the Supreme Court, Justices of the Court of Appeal, Judges of High Courts, Professors of Law, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Chief Chris Uche as well as other Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SANs), who belong to the Nigeria Law School set of 1981 to come up with “tangible project” that will benefit society.
The CJN predicated the call on the grounds that the set had not only succeeded exceedingly but said it was the set most favoured by God Almighty and as such must do something to appreciate God and the society which gave them the opportunity.
Justice Muhammad gave the charge in his speech on behalf of the 1981 set at a get-together party to commemorative the 40th anniversary of the 1981 set Call-to-Bar.
He said the set which boast of the highest number of Justices from the Supreme Court to other lower courts, SANs, academia and other human endeavours must, “come together” and “look for a project that will bear the name of the class of 1981 set” so as to make a place in history.
He said, “Let us think of something very important to the legal profession and Nigeria in general.”
According to the CJN such project which could be for the law school or the universities must be, “something tangible that society will appreciate.”
While stating that God had blessed each and every member of the set fantastically, the CJN remarked that it was also comforting and commendable that no member of the set have been found wanting.
He, therefore, charged the group to keep the bound of unity and not hesitate to lend a helping hand to one another when the need arises.
In similar vein, the Chairman of the class, Ozekhome, stated that the set of 1981 has not only been profoundly blessed by God but is the most distinguished set since the law school was established in 1962.
While stating that the set have produced eminent religious leaders that provide for the spiritual and celestial needs of Nigerians; produced eminent traditional rulers, governors, ministers and eminent players in other sector of the Nigerian economy and beyond, Ozekhome disclosed that the set boast of six of the current Justices of the Supreme Court including the CJN.
“Perhaps, more interesting is the fact that we are the only set ever, in Nigeria that currently boasts of six revered Justices of the Supreme Court, the apex court of the land. They would have been seven, but for the resignation of Justice Sidi Bage, who was coronated Emir of Lafia,” he said.
He added that the set also has two Justices of the Court of Appeal, four Judges of the Federal High Court, nine Chief Judges of High Courts of various states, two Presidents of Customary Court of Appeal, 30 Judges of various High Courts and 16 SANs, with many others life benchers and benchers in the nation’s Judiciary.
In a welcome, Chairman of the National Planning Committee, Uche, noted that the occasion was a rare opportunity to meet many members they have not seen for years and urged members to therefore feel free to relate with “classmates of 40 years ago, devoid of hierarchical protocols.
He urged them to also consolidate the meeting because, ” there is so much we can do as a privileged group to influence policy and decision making at the highest levels in the legal profession for improvement and reforms in the justice delivery system, the development of legal education and indeed for the peace and stability of the country” for the the good of the present and future generations.
Members of the set currently on the bench of the apex court outside the CJN are; Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Uwani Abba-Aji, Lawal Garba and Adamu Jauro.