Nigeria’s first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mrs. Folake Solanke, has decried the controversy that the legal profession and judiciary has been drawn into following the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Solanke, who spoke wednesday at a special valedictory court session organised by the Oyo State judiciary in honour of the late Justice Dulcie Oguntoye, said the legal profession was on trial.
According to her, the development arose because the profession was engulfed in corruption and needed reformation to restore its golden age.
Solanke said Nigeria was troubled and groaning under the trauma and tragedy that led to the suspension of Onnoghen.
She said the legal profession had monumental challenges and needed to reform itself because the profession was supposed to be in the forefront of the war against corruption.
“There is professional lamentation in the land and the bar and the bench must rise up to their professional responsibilities to cleanse the filthy Augean stable of Nigeria.
“I can only appeal again to the professional reprobates to stop polluting the stream of justice.
“Their egregious conduct inflicts mud on and taints the innocent with corruption.
“However, not only the erring lawyers or judges are to blame, the people who corrupt them must also share in the infamy, which engulfs the profession.
“Sadly, the legislature, executive, law enforcement agencies and the private sector are also tainted with corruption,’’ Solanke said.
She called on the NBA and body of SANs to find a solution to the challenges in the judiciary.
In his remarks, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, described the late Oguntoye as a diligent judge, who was talented and fearless in the discharge of her duties.
Abimbola, who was represented by Justice Aderonke Aderemi, said the late jurist lived an exemplary and courageous life.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Oguntoye, who was born on May 23, 1923, died on Nov. 12, 2018 at the age of 95.
NAN also reported that Oguntoye had served in the Lagos High Court and Oyo State High Court, before retiring in 1988.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr. Emmanuel Abiodun, said he was very grateful to the Oyo judiciary for the support to the family and honour accorded to the late jurist.