It was an encomium galore for the legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN),Chief Wole Olanipekun who built and donated an Ultra-Modern Court Room to the Ekiti State High Court, Ikere Judicial Division.
Eminent Nigerians, including the Ekiti State governor ,Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji (BAO),Traditional rulers as well as senior juries gracec the occasion. Senators Biodun Olujimi and Olubunmi Adetumbi from Ekiti South and North Senatorial Districts respectively were also at the event .Also at the occasion was the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the President, Senator Femi Ojudu.
While commissioning the multimillion Naira edifice, governor Oyebanji described Olanipekun as a man who took pleasure in giving back to the society and the institution that once nurtured him.
The governor said this is yet another demonstration of his commitment to giving back to the Law profession where he has made his mark as a distinguished member of the Bar and the Bench.
“As a people who are in need of urgent development, Chief Olanipekun has given us a legacy to copy. I want to therefore, call on all Ekiti indigenes all over the world to emulate this act of generous giving back. If we all look back at our family houses, our communities, our primary and secondary schools, our worship places and other places that once contributed to whom we are, and give back, we will have a better Ekiti of our dream.
“There is no doubt that the task of developing Ekiti cannot be solely that of the Government alone, as individuals, we can chose to pick on something of interest in our community and make a significant impact in the lives of our people.
“As Government, our administration understands the importance of law and order to the progress and development of our State. We are committed to effective administration of justice that serves the public by ensuring that the condition of our courts and the welfare of the judicial officers are well attended to. This government has partnered with the Judiciary to improve the business environment by being one of the first States to create a Small Claims Court for the settlement of commercial matters, which will provide comfort to lenders, and improve medium enterprises.
“In addition to this, the government is working on two Executive Bills to be forwarded to the House of Assembly, namely: Ekiti State Wealth Fund Bill, as well as the Ekiti State Startup Bill. The Ekiti Wealth Fund Bill will ensure the State establishes a proper savings culture, while the Startup Bill will ensure the State creates an enabling environment for startups in Ekiti complementing the Ekiti Knowledge Zone project.
“There is no doubt that our judicial system is one of the most progressive and innovative in the country and our judges, some of the most courageous and erudite. This is in spite of obvious inadequacies. I want to therefore thank you all for your commendable sacrifices in spite of obvious challenges in the sector. We are committed to creating an enabling environment for a seamless dispensation of justice.
“I therefore call on all Ekiti indigenes all over the world to emulate this act of generous giving back”
In his speech at the ocassion, Olanipekun who is also theChairman, Body of Benchers called for urgent intervention on the state of courtrooms in Nigeria.
He appealed to governments and men of goodwill to pay attention to the deteriorating state of courtrooms, court facilities and fixtures, in most parts of the country.
Olanipekun said “the walls and roofs of a good number of our courtrooms are collapsing and caving in”
“Basic facilities such as toilets are not available in a good number of courts all over the country”
“Water and electricity are lacking. In most instances, functional libraries are not available. A sad spectre or scenery if lawyers scrambling to secure seats with litigants or sharing the meagre available accommodation within the “sardine – packed” courtrooms menacingly intimidate judges, counsel and litigants”
Olanipekun, said the ambience if a typical or average courtroom should reflect an atmosphere of learning which judges and lawyers subscribe to, and are known for, rather than representing, both from unkept theatre.
“I venture to submit that a good courtroom with up-to-date facilities will attract the confidence of litigants in our judicial system.
“If we continue to fail, refuse and neglect to maintain Justice, Justice, in turn, may refuse to regulate us, and eventually desert us”