The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, has urged lawyers to emulate the virtues of integrity, professionalism and excellence exhibited by a former Supreme Court judge, the late Justice Ekundayo Ogundare.
Egbeyemi, who made the remarks while receiving in audience members of the executive of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikere Ekiti Branch in his office, also expressed joy at the suspension of a two-month industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
According to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, the branch used the forum to officially extend an invitation to the Deputy Governor to serve as chairman of a public lecture in honour of Ogundare as part of activities to mark its first Law Week celebration.
Egbeyemi, who is a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, noted that the independence of the judiciary and other arms of government will strengthen governance and promote peaceful coexistence in the country.
The Deputy Governor said Ogundare, who hailed from Ikere Ekiti, was a faithful, diligent and committed officer in the temple of justice who rose to the apex court in the land adding that immortalising him with the public lecture is a honour well deserved.
While accepting the invitation to chair the public lecture and attend the Law Week, Egbeyemi also expressed satisfaction with the growth of the Ikere NBA branch which he said is contributing positively to the legal profession and access to justice in the state.
He said: “I am happy the NBA Ikere Branch is growing; there was a time when we had only one branch in the old Ondo State and I was the first Public Relations Officer of the branch. By the grace of God, I will attend your Law Week.
“Oga Ekundayo (Ogundare) was very close to me and we were close to him. We thank God that he reached the top echelon of the Bench in Nigeria and he shone very well at the Bar as well. Immortalising him with a public lecture is a well deserved honour and I am happy you are doing this for him.”
The Deputy Governor who sympathised with lawyers for not being able to ply their trade during the last JUSUN strike said the development disclosed that Governor Kayode Fayemi played a pivotal role in ensuring the end of the industrial action.
Earlier, the Chairperson of NBA Ikere branch, Mrs. Kike Owolabi, commended the Ekiti State Government for wading into the JUSUN strike embarked upon to press home the independence of the judicial arm of government.
Mrs. Owolabi disclosed that the public lecture in honour of the late Supreme Court judge will be delivered by the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu as part of the Law Week which will hold from 5th-11th of July.
Describing the Deputy Governor as a distinguished member of the Bar, the NBA boss commended him for always identifying with the lawyers’ body which informed the decision to extend the invitation to him.
She said: “We want to thank you for wading into the last JUSUN strike and we thank God that the strike is now over. We have always identified with Your Excellency because you are one of us.
“The late Justice Ogundare is being honoured with the public lecture at our Law Week and we believe that your presence will add colour to the occasion.”