By Jimitota Onoyume
WARRI—Justice Godwin Gbemre (retd) has called for an end to discriminatory practices in the Delta State Judiciary against judges from the private bar.
Gbemre, who spoke at his valedictory session in Effurun, Delta State, said the discrimination had no basis in law, adding that the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, should take steps to put an end to it.
“Judges who came in from the private bar are discriminated against. Civil servants such as the Chief Registrar, Magistrates, State Counsel carry their seniority from the executive arm of government into the judiciary. So if a Senior Magistrate is appointed who has only 10 to 11 years post call as a judge, he becomes senior to a legal practitioner from the private bar who has put in 20 to 25 years. The rationale is questionable and discriminatory.
“All lawyers have an entry point and that is the year and date they were called to the Bar. Why would being a civil servant in Delta State become a special advantage/criterion to catapult a person over and above his seniors in the profession? I had to endure this, but I want the Bar in Delta State to take this up and put a stop to this discriminatory practice which has no basis in our laws,” he said.