Shun corruption, cleric tells judges, lawyers

3 weeks ago | 29

Rev. Akin Atere

A cleric, Rev. Akin Atere, on Monday in Lagos admonished judges and lawyers to shun corruption and be just in all their dealings.

Atere, the Lord Bishop of Awori Anglican Diocese gave the admonition on Monday at a service held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina.

The service was held as part of activities marking the 2021/2022 Legal Year of the Lagos State judiciary.

In his sermon entitled: “The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength’’, Atere said the soul of Nigeria is in the hands of judges because they determine almost all the key affairs of the nation.

Quoting Nehemiah 8: 9-12, the bishop said God’s judgment would be pronounced for all insincerity, perversion of justice and for all the vices in the Bench and in the Bar.

“You are the interpreters of the Nigerian Bible called the Constitution. We are your congregation.

“You determine who owns the land; many have been saved by you, while many destinies have been altered.

“Many look unto you to have joy, while others are put in perpetual sorrow,’’ he noted.

He said that the reason for the present predicament of the nation is not far-fetched because citizens had all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

Atere said if the book of the law was to be opened for some members of the judiciary like it was done to Israelites during the Biblical times of Nehemiah, many would cry, lament or cry for joy.

“Some of us because of what will you’d get, had been giving judgments on cases already considered by courts of concurrent jurisdiction.

“Some take bribes for favourable judgments or tactically delay or frustrate cases and not allow parties to proceed to the substantive matter because they have been `mobilised’.

“In some cases, judgments depended on how much is in your purse, your position in government and the society.

“Favouritism, nepotism, tribalism, self-interest have almost taken over government, equity and fairness,’’ he said.

Rev. Atere also decried corrupt practices of lawyers which had clogged the wheel of justice in the nation.

“What about corrupt practices by lawyers? Many of them seek unnecessary adjournments, file applications to delay cases and attempt to bribe judges to pervert justice.

“How about the bribing of court clerks to remove sensitive information from a case file or to refuse to list a case on a cause list.

“What of connivance in doctoring the wishes of the deceased after their demise.

“Many times lawyers are found falsifying and doctoring documentary evidences. So many evil things we do because of money or fame,’’ the cleric lamented.

Rev. Atere called on erring judges and lawyers to repent of their wrongs and to be voices of the voiceless and the defender of the defenceless in the society.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the service, a Bible reading from the book of 2nd Chronicles 19:4-7 was read by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, the Administrative Judge of the Ikeja Judicial Division.

Ipaye represented Justice Kazeem Alogba, the Chief Judge of Lagos State at the service.

There are 57 High Court judges and 161 Magistrates currently serving at the Lagos State Judiciary.


Sept. 27, 2021 @ 17:46 GMT |

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