We don’t have upright judges like Oluwa in Nigeria anymore, says Femi Okunnu/ Femi Okunnu

A former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing under the military government of Yakubu Gowon, Femi Okunnu, said the country no longer have upright judges like the late erstwhile judge of the Lagos High Court, Isiaka Oluwa.

Speaking with some journalists at his Lagos home on Thursday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) bemoaned the fallen standard in the country’s justice system.

While making a comparative analysis between Oluwa and present-day judges, Okunnu said: “Very different. In those days, we had fearless, upright judges. Today, not so. The standards have fallen.

“As a high court judge, when we talk of a judge being upright, it doesn’t apply to many of the young judges now in Nigeria. But it was very much applicable to Justice Isiaka Oluwa. He was an upright judge.

“If you come late to his court by one minute than the fixed time, you are out. At exactly 9am, Oluwa will be seated inside the court to dispense justice.”

The octogenarian also went on to examine the impact of the deceased on the country’s educational sector while he was pro-chancellor and chairman, governing council of Lagos State University (LASU), when he was pro-chancellor and chairman, governing council.

He added: “When he was the pro-chancellor, LASU was the best in criminal law in Nigeria. The school was number one.”

Okunnu also enjoined Nigerians to comply with the various COVID-19 guidelines introduced to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

His words: “For your own sake, I pray and beg you, observe the rules, keep social distance. You don’t know who by accident or whatever carries the virus. Keep social distancing, wear the masks to cover your nose.

“It’s a very dangerous thing. See how it has restricted our movement. It has turned the economy upside down because there is no work, lockdown.”

The late justice breathed his last on May 9 at the age of 102.