By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has stated that quite a number of foreign Investments in Nigeria are being lost to failure in integrity test.
The Governor stated this while addressing participants at the opening day of the 2017 Law Week, NBA Ibadan Branch, Oyo state yesterday.
Governor Akeredolu who was the Chairman of the occasion lamented that some of the lost investments would have changed the economic downturn of Nigeria.
The theme of the Law Week: Integrity of the Nigerian Bench & Bar : A Prerequisite for Sustainable National & Economic Development, to him, is therefore a desideratum if Nigeria must be respected by the international community for direct foreign investment.
Akeredolu called for a collaborative cohesion by both the Bench and the Bar to uphold the tenets of integrity for the values of incorruptibility to rub off on the process of doing things in Nigeria so that development across the nation’s scio-economic landscape can be sustained
“Many have respect for honesty, but sparingly use it. Corrupt climate will always affect the confidence of investors.
“No other group or profession is more privileged than lawyers and judges. We can’t afford to throw away the enormous respect which the society has for us.
“We must strive to maintain a high standard of respect, show light to others and as well, continually fight corruption to a standstill”, he said.
The Governor however, reiterated his love and support for the growth of the branch, and admonished leaders and younger ones to contribute with a view to sustaining its legacy.
The Governor who was at various times an officer of the Ibadan Branch of NBA, suggested that the tripod of functional education , quality policing system and sound justice system as the veritable vehicle to sustain and advance economic prosperity of a nation.
Also, Oyo State Governor, Sen Abiola Ajimobi lauded the Association on the theme of the event which he described as relevant to his administration’s goals.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Legal Aids, Mrs Omolola Farinboye, he commended men of the Bench and Bar for a worthy justice administration in the state and pledged his administration’s continuous support for the branch.
In his lecture, a Professor of Law, Professor Ademola Popoola of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University went down the memory lane to give credit to several legal giants who were leading lights to the profession.
Professor Popoola said though regrettably the image of the judiciary has gone down in recent times, the legal profession should not be judged by the product of the society.
The Professor of Law, said the misconducts of some members of the Bench and Bar notwithstanding, the legal practice remains credibly noble and with time the lost glory will come back consequent upon the daily consciousness of integrity.
According to him ,” it is only few eggs that have given the Judiciary nightmare.”
Poopola said Justices could make their assets declaration public at entry and exit from service.
On his own, Justice Nonyerem Okonkwo of the Appeal Court, Ibadan, who noted that corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of the profession, urged members to rise, rebuild and restore its lost glory.
“Let’s unite and fight corruption to a standstill, rewrite our names and bequeath a sane society to the oncoming generation”, he said.