Kwara Judiciary moves to curb illegal issuance of affidavit, documents


By Kayode Adeoti

An America President, George Washington once said, ‘Truth will
ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. ”
The above quote seems to illustrate the   concerted efforts  by  Kwara
State judiciary, geared towards addressing the issue of illegal
issuance of affidavits and other sensitive legal documents by
unskilled persons.
For many years, curbing the illegality had defied all measures and the
menace continued unabated as Commissioners of Oath recognised by law
to assent legal documents have continued to  lament what they
described as hijack of their professional duties by quacks.
It was observed that some  Commissioners of Oath also run foul of the
law by signing blank documents, which they give out to quacks on the
street who  in return sell it for money.
But recently, the Kwara judiciary in a bid to sanitise the system
ensured that  six (6) persons including two (2) judiciary were
arrested, put behind bar for 5days and finally docked.
The culprits who were apprehended for issuing legal documents
illegally were dragged before Magistrate Muhammed Ibrahim for the
offences of criminal conspiracy/public servant dishonesty, receiving
money or property not due contrary to section 97 and 122 of penal code
The culprits were accused of making between N500 to N700 on each
affidavit, as against  government approved price for same.
The defendants were lucky to have  found mercy with the magistrate, as
they were granted bail and asked to go and sin no more. The  incident,
has, however  instilled  much fear  among the Commissioners of Oath.
Speaking on the development, a veteran legal practitioner in the
state, Tunde Abdul Gegele, commended the judiciary for taking a giant
step toward addressing the menace , saying it’s a step in the right
Gegele added that many Commissioners of Oath are now alive to their
duties and cautious against signing blank papers.
“The step take by the judiciary to address the issue of illegal
signing of affidavit is a right step in right direction and it is
highly commendable. It means those who are in the management of the
State judiciary are very sensitive and they want to protect the
integrity of the system.
“Some of these Commissioners of Oath don’t know what their duties
entails. An affidavit is an evidence of oath it means, you’re
swearing… It shouldn’t be signed without neccessary precautions. The
Commissioners of Oath who were apprehended for acting contrary to law,
signed blank papers and give them out to those on the street.
“The implication is that anyone who signed blank documents, gives  the
deponent opportunity to place whatever he wants on it. Is just like
one is issuing a signed blank cheque. To a large extent, the
prosecution of those caught in the act will serve as deterrent for
However, the steps taken by the Judiciary has gone a long way to curb
the excesses of the Commissioners of Oath and instil fear in the minds
of quacks.
Before now, early in the morning, both young and old people are
sighted by the road side or  hanging around the High Court premises,
beckoning on passersby to come for  draft of  a legal document such as
Our reporter has at various times sighted the quacks on the street,
exchanging words  while lobbying for customers.
This medium gathered that on several occasions, the Chief Judge of the
State, Justice Sulyman Durosinlohun Kawu had held series of meetings
with management on how to curb the menace.
Recall, that in order to nip the menace in the bud, last year, the
former Chief Registrar of the Court, who is now an High court judge,
Justice Olalekan Adegbite, sound note of warning that anyone caught in
the act will be prosecuted.
The jurist further averred that if a staff of the judiciary was found
culpable of the act, such person will be dismissed from service.
Though the threat made some persons shiver but it did not last.

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