Former President Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami (retd) was among seven worthy members of the public who on Saturday received meritorious award in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Those who also received the prestigious awards are: The Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, National Pilot Newspaper, Alhaji Billy Adedamola; The Founder, Alhikma University, Alhaji Abdulraheem Oladimeji and Dean of Law, Igbinedion University, Professor Rasheed Ijadola.
Others are Proprietor of Crown Hill University, Engr. Morgan Frank Akpan and the President, Kam Industries, Alhaji Kamorudeen Ibitoye Yusuf.
The awards were presented during the 2017 Annual Bar Dinner and Award of The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin Branch.
Speaking at the colourful event held at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin, the Chairman of NBA, Ilorin Branch, Barrister Issa Manzuma stated that the awardees were singled out for honour given their contribution to development of humanity and the nation.
He noted that the individuals had distinguished themselves in their various field of endeavoured, hence the need to recognise them.
According to him, the award is a way of appreciating and reciprocating their various contributions to the development of the society.
He also charged the awardees not to rest on their oars but to build on the existing achievements to attain greater heights, adding that they should continue impacting the world positively.
The Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief was given a ‘Distinguished Personality Award,’ in recognition of in-depth investigative journalism and contribution to development of the legal profession.
In his address, the chairman of the dinner committee, Barrister Abiodun Dada said the awardees have brought out the best in people, fostered creativity, innovation and delivered superior performance which has resulted in a better society and turning hopeless impossibilities into enviable possibilities.
Giving his speech, the Chief Judge of Kwara State, Hon. Justice Sulyman D. Kawu said that democracy can only survive in Nigeria if those in the legal profession support the idea of truth, incorruptibility and courage in the administration of justice.
According to him, “The administration of justice is very important to democracy and indeed to the very existence of the society that no effort must be spared, particularly by members of the legal profession in supporting the idea of truth, honesty, incorruptibility, fear of God, transparency, courage and impartial while discharging their duty”.
Justice Kawu represented by Justice Adenike Akinpelu, noted that in the recent time there were misfortune bedevilling the justice sector in Nigeria, while there were decline in the standard, etiquette and character in the legal profession which has given members of both the bar and the bench a bad image.
The jurist who emphasised that both the bar and bench were co-ministers in the temple of justice and serve the same cause, said that both the bar and the bench must strive to attain pure and untainted justice for both the high and low, the rich and poor and the strong and the weak.
He however advised members of the bar to stop writing frivolous and unfounded petitions against judges, even as he charged the judges too to desist from using uncouth and indecorous language against members of the bar appearing in proceeding before them.
“As important stakeholders in the administration of justice, we should all encourage, promote and felicitate a cordial bar and bench relations and interface for the greater glory of our noble profession”, Justice Kawu added.
Meanwhile, the well attended ceremony attracted dignitaries from within the state including the state Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Water Resources, Barr. Muyideen Akorede.
Also in attendance were government functionaries, captains of industries, politicians, academics, family and friends of the awardees.