Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and his Oyo State counterpart, Mr Seyi Makinde have tasked legal practitioners to rise to the challenge of protecting the judiciary from interference.
The duo made this call at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ibadan branch, held at Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Monday.
Making specific reference to Friday’s Omoyele Sowore/State Security Services (SSS) saga, Akeredolu, who chaired the occasion, urged the bar to condemn the SSS for desecrating the nation’s courtroom.
Akeredolu warned that judges were at risk of being arrested in wig and gown during court session if the bar continued to adopt a passive and inactive posture to addressing issues.
He, therefore, urged legal practitioners to shrug off timidity and live up to their training which demands courage in prosecution.
“Why has the voice at the bar become so still? Can the bar afford to be passive?
‘It should be an anathema to the bar that inaction has come upon us. The bar needs to talk on quite a number of things.
“We must be terror against demagogues. It is when your voice of the bar is heard consistently that it will earn respect Akeredolu said.
“Will people go and desecrate our courtrooms and we keep quiet? The bar must condemn it. There is no explanation anybody can give you Akeredolu said.
Somebody calls it drama. Drama! How? What we saw was not drama, you must stand up to condemn the SSS for what they did in Abuja.
“Our spirit must remain indomitable. Forget about where we are today because enough of us made efforts to say what you have done is wrong and only way out was apology almost immediately but what people believe is different.
You must write to justify what is not justifiable.
“If we are not careful, the day will come that people will walk into a judge’s sitting and arrest people with their wig and gown Akeredolu said.
I am not saying our judges are timid but in the face of the gun, most of our judges will shake.
“So, must take our position as a privileged one. So, let us shine the light for others. Let us be courageous; let us prosecute our conviction with courage,” Akeredolu said.
The event also featured remarks from state Chief judge, Munta Ladipo; state Attorney General, Oyelowo Oyewo; Chairman, NBA Ibadan branch, Dr John Akintayo.