October 1, 2023
Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

As we celebrate our dear country’s Independence Day today, 1st of October, it is incumbent we reflect not only on our nation’s sovereignty and celebrate same vigorously, but also more importantly that we consider the urgent need for true independence within critical institutions, particularly our revered judiciary. Indeed, the need for free and independent institutions cannot be overemphasized; they are essential to our ever-growing democracy.

Therefore, this auspicious occasion underscores the imperative for autonomy in our judiciary, particularly in terms of true financial and operational independence. This is crucial for ensuring the unbiased administration of justice and the unwavering adherence to the rule of law. These are the very pillars upon which any just society stands.

Today, let us pause to pay tribute to the exceptional contributions of our diligent legal practitioners. Your unrelenting efforts and steadfast dedication to the administration of justice and the upholding of the rule of law constitute the very foundation of our legal system. Your unwavering commitment has paved the way for a more equitable and just society.

In the same breath, let us also take a moment to remember and mourn our fellow judicial officers, who have departed from us to the great beyond since the last Independence Day. Their dedication and service to our legal system shall forever be etched in our hearts.

As we honour their memories, let us also advocate for an increase in the wages of our judicial officers. Recognizing their invaluable contributions and ensuring their well-being is not only a gesture of gratitude but a commitment to the continued strength and integrity of our judicial system.

On this momentous day, let us also contemplate the paramount importance of fortifying the rule of law and the administration of justice in Nigeria. It is our collective duty to guarantee that justice is accessible, transparent, and impartial for every citizen.

Let us persist in our pursuit of a legal system characterized by transparency, accountability, and efficiency. By upholding the loftiest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct, we contribute to a more robust and prosperous Nigeria.

May this Independence Day serve as a poignant reminder of the influence and obligation we hold, as custodians of the law, to shape a brighter future for Nigeria.

Yours sincerely,

Kunle Ogunba SAN,
President, Nigerian Law Society.

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