By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
Senior Advocates of Nigeria and other lawyers have hailed the appointment of Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun as a justice of the Supreme Court, describing her as a firm believer of substantial justice.
According to a renowned Constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay SAN, Justice Kekere-Ekun would not substitute the substance of the law for technicalities. He said, “I have read a few of her judgments; she is very sound in law. In other words, she suppresses technicality and allow substance to prevail. She has that equitable spirit of trying to do justice.”
Mr Tani Molajo SAN, on his part, noted that the transfer of Justice Kekere-Ekun’s virtues to the Supreme Court is a cause for celebration, saying “this jurist has risen quickly through our judicial system by sheer dint of diligence, scholarship and uprightness. I daresay that I speak the mind of the entire profession when I say that the transfer of all those virtues to our highest court in the person of Justice Kekere-Ekun is cause for celebration. I congratulate her and wish her many more years in the service of this nation’s judiciary.”
However, Mr Lanre Ogunlesi SAN, opined that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Muktar, has now assembled a very good team at the Supreme Court and the quality of judgments being turned down would begin to stand the test of time.
“Justice Kekere-Ekun is a very hard working justice, so her being a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is well deserved. She is a very brilliant justice. She is the type this country needs; incorruptible and very hardworking” Ogunlesi said.
Chairman, NBA Ikeja branch, Mr Monday Ubani, commended the Senate and the Presidency for preferring merit in the singular appointment of Justice Kekere-Ekun to the apex court.
According to him, “It is a healthy development and encouragement to hard-work and integrity. Her wisdom and sound judgments while at the lower benches are well known. She is one not tolerant of technicalities. She is known and a firm believer of substantial justice. We pray that she maintains her integrity and not allow any variable to make her lose focus while on that exalted seat.”
Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Chief Morah Ekwunoh, pointed out that although Justice Kekere-Ekun narrowly missed the elevation in 2010 to another shining star in the judicial firmament, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, her approval by the Presidency as a Supreme Court judge is both salutary and significant.
”She stands out for the purity of her legal mind, calm and contemplative mien, for which reason she spoke less, even at the heat of passion, while listening and reasoning more, during proceedings.
”These uncommon attributes not only combine with her exceptional knowledge, distillation and synthesis of law and facts, for societal goods only, but facilitated her quick sprint through the judicial ladder. From the Magistrate- where the stay was brief, the High Court- where she spent 8 years, the Court of Appeal- where she spent 9 years, and now to the Supreme Court-most deservedly” Ekwunoh added.