By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The first Nigerian female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Folake Solanke, has declared that the special courts set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC) to fight corruption will help the war being waged by President Muhammadu Buhari against financial fraud in the country.
Solanke said she quite support attempt by Buhari’s government to sanitise the country, particularly the ones that have to do with judicial corruption, but warned that such should not be done in a way that will ridicule the judicial arm.
“It saddened me to see judges being disgraced in a brazen manner by the Department of State Services (DSS). It doesn’t speak well of us. Judges are occupying sensitive positions. They can’t be disgraced under no circumstance. But if they err in any way, there are laid down rules to discipline them,” she added.
The senior lawyer, also advised the legal practitioners to be above board in character, saying, “you must respect the judges, your colleagues, the rules of court and guard against professional misconducts, like conniving with corrupt people to ridicule the temple of justice.”
Solanke said these in Ado Ekiti at the weekend while delivering a lecture at the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) organised by the College of Law of the university.
She harped on the “need for lawyers to be shining examples in courts through respect for judges, legal practitioners and embrace code of ethics in terms of dressing and utterances.”
The legal practitioner stressed that these remained the only way the respect the legal profession commands can be maintained and sustained.
“It gave me a broken heart seeing judges’ houses being broken. Though, corruption is an unforgivable travesty of the law, no nation can progress with it and if culprits are allowed to go scot-free, it will fester. So, I agree that we have to make example of them.”
Counselling the students, Solanke said: “You have to play your own part to restore the golden age of legal profession in Nigeria. No nation can progress without efficacy of the judicial arm and you must not do anything that will lead to misapplication of the law.
“You must be thorough professionals, strive hard to make a difference in the 21st century legal profession. You must show mutual respect as expected between the bar and the bench. Don’t engage in misconducts and refrain from the culture of African time, it is a taboo in this profession.
“Ensure you get the right tutelage that can make you excel, because without this you will become a subject of ridicule in courts, you will be making unpardonable mistakes.
“Read and prepare very well for your briefs and that all cases as being serious, even when they are not.
“These are the things that can make you excel and earn you fame in this noble profession,” she counseled.”