A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Jibrin Samuel Okutepa, has reacted to the statement credited to the First Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, John Aikpokpo-Martins, to the effect that the ongoing strike of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, will continue.
Okutepa, in a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer, said the Executive arm of government has conspired with some saboteurs to kill the judiciary and the legal profession.
He said, “Yesterday I read a statement credited to the First Vice President of NBA that JUSUN strike will continue. According to the statement, the Governors have reneged on the agreement they had with JUSUN and had requested that the agreement takes effect after collecting the FAAC allocation in June 2021. This JUSUN strike is almost two months now.
“In the most bizarre and unprecedented manner in the history of Nigeria, the judicial arm of government has been under lock and keys for two months. The executive arm of government in collaboration with saboteurs in the legal profession have decided to kill the judiciary and the legal profession finally.”
The distinguished silk laments that the legal profession has lost its glory and has become a toothless bulldog both in action and direction.
He opined that they ought not to have lead the JUSUN strike. The profession should have rather insisted that the judicial autonomy be implemented failure of which sanction be visited on any of its erring members
“The once fearful and awesome profession has completely lost its light and glory. The once noble profession that people looked unto for remedies and guide has become toothless and impotent both in action and direction.
“In a society where the legal profession leads the JUSUN strike would have in the first place unnecessary. The legal profession would have insisted through its organised organs that Nigerian constitution on the autonomy of the judiciary be respected and obeyed and failing which sanctions are visited on any of its members in sabotage of its directions.
“But not in Nigeria. The continuation of this JUSUN strike is most unnecessary and uncalled for now. The strike will not achieve the desired result, autonomy of the judiciary. The judiciary does not seem to want autonomy. The legal profession is not ready to have an autonomous judiciary. The leadership of the legal profession have not done enough to enforce the provisions of our laws on autonomy of the judiciary and other laws to safeguard the independence of the legal profession.” Okutepa said
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria further laments that there is no rule of law in Nigeria. He said the executive will not respect the rule of law because there is no consequence.
He said disappointment will be the end result of this strike because we are dealing with people who have DNA of disrespect for Rule of Law.
He said, “Let nobody deceive us no rule of law in Nigeria. We have rule of convenience and rule of apartheid. The executive will not respect the law because there are no consequences.
The absence of sanctions has produced the monsters in us and we moved backward instead of forwards in all things.
“Even our own profession does not follow due process. The way we act outside the law sabotages whatever rule of law we preach. Everyone is law unto himself. Nothing is done according to law. We are just bunch of jokers in Nigeria. The end result of this strike will be a very big disappointment.
“The people we are dealing with have DNA of total disdain and disregard for law. Law does not work in Nigeria. The rule of jungle operates here. How can sane and responsible government closes its eyes to the grave legal and social implications for the continuous closure of its judiciary for two months can only happen in Nigeria where we make everything not to work for the good of all.”
(Cambridge University Press, January, 2021) By Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN, FCIArb, Professor of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti
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