ECOWAS Court visit: Kwara CJ tasks judges on integrity, ethics

By Afusat Agunbiade-Oladipo

The Chief Judge of Kware, Justice Sulyman Kawu, has called on judges to strive to keep to their judicial oath and the judicial ethics both written and unwritten, while plying their trade to ensure justice for all.

Kawu made the call on Wednesday at Judicial Forum for Judges during the Sensitization Mission of the Community Court of Justice ECOWAS in Ilorin.

He said that the sensitization mission would open more doors for legal practitioners to ply their trade before the ECOWAS court with the potential to boost their earnings.

Kawu noted that the programme would also widen their scope of knowledge of the law, adding that they should let integrity, hardworking and honesty be their watchword, while plying their trade.

According to him, as we embark on this sensitization exercise of members of the public on the activities of the court, let us also realize that as holders of judicial powers whether in the ECOWAS Court of Justice or in National Courts of ECOWAS member states the integrity must be their watch word.

He said that as judges, we must at all times exhibit good character, reputation, diligence and hardwork, honesty, integrity and sound knowledge of law and consistent adherence to professional ethics.

“The image of the judiciary is determined by what we all as judicial officers do in the performance of our duties and as individuals in the dispensation of Justice.

“The ordinary citizen builds up his image of the judiciary by what we all do or are going to do in our different Courts.

“My Lords, let us strive to keep to both the judicial oath which we willingly subscribed to on our appointments and the judicial ethics both written and unwritten which apply to our vocation.

“We must never in the discharge of our duties entertain for a moment, fear of any individual or institution or be swayed by the sentiments
of tribe, religion or family relationship.

“We must also not be cowed into any unethical conduct as a result of threat or intimidation from any quarters whatsoever.

” We must at all times in the course of
discharging our duties, fear only God, our creator, who is the judge of all judges, the possessor of power over all beings and to whom we shall ultimately give account of our stewardship and sojourn here on earth, on the day of judgment”, Kawu said.

The Vice-President, ECOWAS Court of Justice, Justice Edward Asante, said the ECOWAS Court of Justice has made very conscious efforts to maintain good relations with the national courts of Member States.

Asante said that through ECOWAS programmes and jurisprudence the court also does not have criminal jurisdiction.

Represented by Member of ECOWAS Court of Justice, Justice Dupe Atoki, Asante added that despite their different mandates it is necessary for them to collaborate in order to achieve an integrated community legal order and the
attainment of the ECOWAS integration objectives.

According to him, our mission here is to create awareness about the mandate, jurisdiction, practice and procedure of ECOWAS court and to deepen the fraternal relations between the court and kwara judiciary. (NAN)

Edited by Felix Ajide