Unlike Justice Oluwa, most young judges are not upright — Femi Okunnu
Alhaji Femi Okunnu(SAN)

By Dapo Akinrefon

Alhaji Femi Okunnu(SAN), former Federal Commissioner for Works during the military government of General Yakubu Gowon, on Thursday, slammed some new crop of judges in the country, saying they cannot be described as upright or disciplined like Justice Oluwa during his days.

Okunnu also described late Justice Isiaka Oluwa as a disciplined and upright judge, who influenced his legal career.

The former Federal Works Commissioner said this at a briefing while paying tribute to the late Oluwa.

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Okunnu said: “I called Justice Oluwa my uncle till his death. I was close to him. As an upright judge, he influenced me because when you go to his court, you must be punctual.

“Incidentally, he passed on that discipline to me and to some of us in practice and on to some young judges. So, in that way, he passed on to us his discipline and uprightness.

“Whether you were his son, a relation, or whatever, whenever you brought a case before him (Oluwa) there were no special favours.

“Not only for me, but some other people, who practised before, him can say that of Justice Oluwa.”

On how the late Justice Oluwa can be immortalised, Okunnu said: “Only God is immortal. It is the good work you do that people will remember you for.

“I am not one of those who would say they should name a school after him or the area after him. If the Lagos State government wants to do that, it is fine but let us all live as equals in this country.”

Speaking further, he said: “As a High Court judge, when we talk of a judge being upright, it does not apply to many of the young judges we have now in Nigeria. But it is applicable to Justice Isiaka Oluwa.

“If you came late to his court for one minute past nine in the morning, you are out. At 9a.m., it was common knowledge that Justice Oluwa will be in court by 9a.m. and dispense justice to all manner of people.”


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