The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN has urged that all efforts be made by the relevant authorities to ensure that Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye of the Kogi State Judiciary is elevated to the Court of Appeal before his retirement. Justice Ajileye is billed to retire on Wednesday.

Maikyau stated that the plea is to ensure that the nation’s judiciary is not robbed of the depth of the jurist’s knowledge especially in electronic evidence.

His words: “This is part of the retirement process of My Lord in the Kogi Bench, but I pray that My Lord is elevated to the Court of Appeal between now and the 15th of February so that we would not be robbed of the knowledge we get from his experience in electronic evidence. The help of God is not far from you and all of this is a show of grace of God in your life.”

Maikyau made the plea in a goodwill message he delivered at the Public Lecture organized by the Rule of Law Development Foundation (ROLDF) in honour of Justice Omolaye-Ajileye.

Continuing, he said: “I first met My Lord Ajileye in 2015 at a training. The humility and simplicity of his lordship struck me and since then I became his younger brother. I sat beside My Lord at the training but it took me two days to know that he was a judge of the High Court. I realized that with the depth of knowledge My Lord possessed, he should have been the resource person, in my view.

“I recall the book My Lord wrote on electronic evidence and I made a comment on it as providing the required refreshment to the fundamentals of the law of electronic evidence. I am sure the refreshment was present today when My Lord delivered his talk on electronic evidence.”

He noted how Justice Ajileye applied the law in the judgements he delivered and commended his sense of justice, adding that “We have to share the knowledge in the work that My Lord has brought to improve on the administration of justice.”

Maikyau charged legal practitioners not to denigrate judges in their comments, saying: “A legal practitioner lives for the advancement of his people and course of this nation. Our reputation as lawyers is motivated by the fees we charge and that is why we have failed in providing the leadership this nation requires. My charge to all members of the legal profession is to stand for our course. If we lose the confidence of the public in the administration of justice, we will not have a nation. “

He noted that the judiciary has some erudite jurists, adding that calling the judiciary names will not remedy any challenges. “When we talk about failure, I don’t exclude myself as President of NBA,” he said.

Former Deputy Director-General at the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN appreciated the NBA President for honouring their classmate, adding that Justice Ajileye has contributed to the legal profession especially in his specialty area of electronic evidence.

Ojukwu revealed that he prodded Justice Ajileye to write the second edition of his book within weeks of publishing the first book, saying: “I told him that section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011 has created more problems than it has solved.”

The law teacher said: “Our regret is that My Lord has not been elevated to the Court of Appeal. But we will still benefit from him despite his retirement.”

The chairman of the event and Chief Judge of FCT High Court, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf acknowledged all those who facilitated and participated in the programme. Also present was retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi.

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