The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, yesterday urged judges to write judgments not because of the monetary benefits but for posterity.
The CJN spoke at the inauguration of the ultra-modern High Court complex built by the Imo State government and named after the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa.
Justice Muhammad, who was represented by a Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Amina Augie, said: “We thank God for the vision given to Governor Rochas Okorocha that came to fruition in the realisation of this wonderful court complex. I doubt if there is any state in this country that has a High Court complex as magnificent as this one. For this, we thank God for the governor of Imo State; we thank God for the judges of Imo State and we thank God for the people of Imo State who are going to benefit from this complex after the inauguration.
“The complex is so comfortable that it will enable judges to relax and do their jobs well and give justice without fear, favour or ill will.
“At the same time, when you walk in and see the name of the complex, Justice Oputa Complex, he is one of the greatest jurists this country ever had. Till today, if I am writing any judgment, I still rely on him because he was a great jurist. He was able to capture the law; he was able to explain it and was able to put it into clear words.
“Justice Oputa was an example of what a judge should be. He never knew that one day a complex like this would be named after him. This is a message to all living judges that we must all have posterity in mind. It tells us that whatever we are writing, we should remember that one day, in 100 years, one of your grand-children will be reading whatever rubbish you have written or reading something sublime you have written and they will proudly say, my grandfather or mother has done well by the kind of judgment he or she has written.”
Okorocha said he would be remembered for all the works he has done as the governor of the state.
He added: “I stand here today to present to you this wonderful edifice which is tripartite in arrangement. The first building standing by the left is called the Justice Building and the one in the middle is the Building of Equity and the last one is Building of Fairness.
“When I came in as the governor, I was not lucky like those packaged by the elite of Imo State. I hadn’t any support of the big masquerade politician in the state. I came in as the governor of Imo State through the window of the masses and not through the door of the elite. I didn’t have the co-operation of who is who because I bend protocols for the good of the masses. I have never broken any protocol or law, I only bend it a bit and make sure it doesn’t break. At the stage of breaking, I strengthen it to the destination I am going to.
“One thing you cannot take away from me is that I came here with a passion and vision to make Imo better. But if I have followed your way, this structure standing here wouldn’t have been standing because there were many governors and leaders before me.
“If I had followed your style and system, the International Cargo Airport, the biggest in this country, won’t be standing tall at the airport, And so many other projects of note. Only a few days ago, we collected the licence of four new universities, all established in Imo State. Yet, you don’t understand.
“Today, we have the best police headquarters in Nigeria, after the one in Abuja. We have the best prison headquarters in Imo State, all built by this government.
“Our Justice Oputa Court Complex stands tall in Nigeria today. Let my work speak for me, even after I leave office. This is the only message I have for my political opponents and definitely my work will speak for me.”
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