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PETITIONS AGAINST JUDGES NOT TO DISPARAGE JUDICIARY, LEGAL PRACTITIONERS - ONI

By Lere Olayinka
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Former Governor of Ekiti –State, Chief Segun Oni has said that he had no intention to impugn on the integrity and credibility of the judiciary or any legal practitioners, whose names and telephone numbers appeared on the call logs submitted with his petition to the Supreme Court and National Judicial Council (NJC), saying; “the numbers and names of appeared there in as a matter of necessity and not out of mendacity.”

In a release made available to the media by his Chief Media Aide, Wale Ojo-Lanre, the former governor said he has a whale of respect for the eminent and accomplished legal luminaries whose names and calls appeared in the call logs, which accompanied the petition but there was no how he could have removed the names of the legal practitioners from the call logs.

“The petition was not intended to bring down the judiciary or impugn on the character of any member of the bar but to show the true colours of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as undemocratic agents whose penchant to use propaganda and invidious legal technicalities to override popular votes have become a threat to democracy.

“We are not out to denigrate the judiciary, legal practitioners or any Nigerian but if democracy must have its root in this country, Nigerians must be made to see the dangers of the desperation and undemocratic tradition of ACN who are known for merely mouthing democracy yet they use undemocratic means of searching for electoral victory.

“For the avoidance of doubts, most of these lawyers are personal friends of Chief Segun Oni and he his pained that some of them have their telephone numbers on the call logs used to support his claim on the injustice meted to him thousands of electorate in Ekiti State by Justice Isa Ayo Salami and his 'trusted' men in the Appeal Court,” he said.

While calling on all Nigerians to rise in support of the struggle to sanitise the judiciary and other arms of government that important to the sustenance of democracy in the country, the former governor said; “The task we have embarked upon is not for Segun Oni or Ekiti State alone, it is for the entire country. It is in the interest of all of us in this country, including legal practitioners.

“This is because what we desire is a judicial system where legal practitioners will win or lose cases only on the basis of law and evidences adduced during trials not how well they (legal

practitioners) are able to 'reach-out' to judges.
“Unfortunately, as it is now, Nigeria judicial system is such that a litigant will prefer to raise fund to bribe judges instead of engaging good lawyers, and this is dangerous to the legal profession itself.

“Therefore, we are worried and all right thinking Nigerians should be worried too that our judiciary is on trial and all of us, including legal practitioners should rise to save the institution from collapse.

“If for whatever personal reasons, we choose not to act now, the future generations of Nigerians will never forgive us.”