By Jonathan Ugbal
Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, a former Chief Justice of The Gambia and Justice of the Supreme Court of Swaziland, has been recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
After serving as President of the Court of Appeal of the Gambia, and three years as Chief Justice of The Gambia, Justice Agim was later sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Swaziland on May 2, 2012 before he was sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal on Monday, November 5, 2012 by the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar.
This means that Justice Agim, a law professor who hails from Obudu in northern Cross River State served in the first all black bench in the history of Swaziland and her sister countries; Botswana and Lesotho.
And, the NJC in a statement released on Thursday said Agim, (South-South) alongside Adamu Jauro, (North-East); Samuel Oseji, (South-South) and Helen Ogunwumiju, (South-West) amongst other recommendations, were sent to President Muhammadu Buhari who has the powers to appoint the judges with the backing of the Senate.
The statement, dated October 23, 2019and signed by the director of information of the NJC, Soji Oye also recommended “four (4) Heads of Court, Thirteen (13) Judicial Officers for Federal and State High Courts and one (1) Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal.”
These forms part of the resolutions from its meeting of 22nd and 23rd October, 2019.
Also, the NJC said it “deliberated on the Report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel eight (8) Committees to investigate eight (8) Judicial Officers from amongst the 35 petitions written against 37 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts.
“The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, concerning administrative matters, or that such petitions were matters for appeal.”
Agim is well known for his judgments. His address at the opening of the law week of the Enugu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association on December 1, 2014 where he said the “common man” cannot afford the “come today, come tomorrow courts,” sparked a debate about the Nigerian legal system.
According to him, the delays in the justice system render “the trial unfair, defeats access to justice, increases the cost of seeking justice, reduces the quality of justice in the final verdict or renders it meaningless.”
He further stressed that these delays dimmed “the hope of the common man in court and exposes him to the option of a secondary victimisation suffering his primary or initial victimisation in silence without challenge as he or she cannot afford the expense of ‘come-today-come-tomorrow’ courts as the adjournment and delayed processes of our courts are commonly described.”
Born April 26, 1960, Justice Agim studied law at the University of Calabar and is an alumni of the Nigerian Law School in Lagos. He was enrolled as a legal practitioner on October 15, 1986 and holds an LLM from the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom.
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