By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
LAGOS—PROMINENT lawyers, Prof Itse Sagay, SAN and Mr Lanre Ogunlesi, SAN, have said that there was nothing wrong with the pictures of the President and state governors being hung in the chambers of Chief Judges of the states.
This is against the backdrop of arguments that the pictures ought not be seen hanging in the chamber of Chief Judges, since it could be said to be an act of the executive subjugating the judiciary.
Sagay said: ‘’The governor of a state is the head of that state, just like the President is the head of states for Nigeria and you will see his picture in every high court in Nigeria. So, I do not see anything wrong with that. I do not see how that would affect the independence of the judge.”
He further pointed out that a judge with an independent mind would not in anyway be intimidated by pictures of state governors or president.
‘’It is irrelevant for anybody to suggest such. Since the governor of a state is the head of that state, the governor’s picture and that of the President, who is the head of Nigeria, can be placed in the chambers of Chief Judges, which is not to make them become submissive and subservient,’’ he said.
Similarly, Ogunlesi maintained that it was the Chief Judges, who must assert themselves, adding that judges need to be courageous because their position places them a step after God.
He said: “When you look at it well, when a judge is removed, his salary is guaranteed for life. But now you will find todaythat everything is in a mess. When we started practice, after God, it was the judges. That is what it should be. There are many things wrong in our society that ought to be put right.’’