Some Lawyers Forge Judgments to Submit for SAN Nomination, Says CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, Monday, revealed that some lawyers, in their desperate bid to access the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigera do forge court judgments to qualify for nomination.
Onneghen said, some lawyers in their quest to get easy nomination, the forged judgments often than not, are submitted to the Legal Practitioners and Privileges Committee for scrutiny
Justice Onneghen, who disclosed this at the Supreme Court, Abuja, Monday on the occasion of inuaguration of new Senior Advocates of Nigeria, said that such unholy practice by legal practitioners was unfortunate.
Although, the names of the offending lawyers were not made public, the CJN said that they have been reported to police and are currently facing interrogation.
Justice Onnoghen disclosed that the arrested lawyers would soon be prosecuted for forgery.
“I have to point out the fact that in the just concluded exercise, some applicants were found to have engaged in dishonourable conduct such as forgery of judgment, resulting in their being reported to the police for investigation and possible prosecution. We have to know that if one is not for any reason qualified to wear silk as a judicial officer, he cannot wear it as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“I would like at this point to thank the distinguished members of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee tasked with this assignment of scrutinizing over 4,000 judgments, trial proceedings and publications, and at the same time conduct disciplinary proceedings on petitions received against Senior Advocates of Nigeria”, he said.
The CJN in the same vein warned that those in power must not loss sight of the indispensable role of the judiciary in the fight against corruption, adding that the fight against corruption is not the responsibility of any particular arm of government but that of every citizen of Nigeria.
Justice Onneghen said corruption or any other form of injustice thrives in a culture of impunity, adding that to carry out a successful campaign against corruption: “We have to fight with the culture of impunity which is an attitudinal phenomenon. If we allow and respect the rule of law, then there will be a drastic reduction in corruption and injustice.
“As a democracy, occasion is guided by the rule of law where the constitution is the grand norm. And let me quickly add that there is no ambiguity as regards the role of the judiciary in our constitution”, he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, appealed to judges to brace up to challenges than would come their ways before, during and after the forthcoming general election.
Malami said as part of efforts to make the judiciary truly independent, President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the constitutional amendment which now makes monies due to the judiciary in the annual budget to be paid directly to the Heads of courts as part of efforts to answer the needs of the judiciary.
On his part, a legal luminary Chief Onomigbo Okpoko SAN, who spoke on behalf of Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, warned lawyers against resorting to distortion of issues and facts or manufacturing of evidence to confuse judges to vet undeserved favourable judgment for their clients, especially politicians engaging in litigation wars.
Okpoko appealed to lawyers to always render advise to their clients no matter how wealthy against engaging in cases that cannot be supported with fact in law courts.
A total of 30 Senior Advocate of Nigeria comprising Olabode Olanipekun, son of legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, Attorney General, Lagos Mosediq Kazeem and Sonny Wogu were conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Author: News Editor

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