Summary Report on People in History and the Law Profession; the important role of Judges

  • Itsekiri NextGen Project: 2022 Session 9 Report
  • Topic: People in History and the Role of Judges in Delivering Justice
  • Date: Saturday 12/03/2022 
  • Volunteers Present: 5
  • Total Number of Attendees: 75
  • Timings: 9:00am – 1:00pm
  • Venue: Former Caravan 4, Aji Pessu, Warri
  • Main Topic/Activity: The Role of Judges in Delivering Justice
  • Resource Person: Emmanuel Fregene
  • Guest Resource person: Chief Barrister Robinson Ariyo

Summary of Session

The session focused on the importance of history and the delivery of justice by Judges in a legal system.

Session Delivery

The session began with a review of the previous session on zero discrimination. This was followed by discussions led by Mr Emmanuel Fregene on the history of Warri Kingdom and the historic roles of prominent Itsekiri sons and daughters; past and present in the development of Nigeria. The discussions on the history of Warri Kingdom also covered the voyage of Ginuwa I alongside the sons of the seventy chiefs of the Benin Kingdom to Warri.

Examples of notable persons in history were provided with evidence of their impact on the development of Warri Kingdom and the Nigerian society. Notable persons in history discussed included; Chief Nana Olomu, Chief Dore Numa, Chief Arthur Prest, Mr Allison Akene Ayida, Pa Alfred Rewane, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh and a host of others. The essence of this is to encourage participants to live a worthy and exemplary lifestyle as well as strive to make a positive impact in society.

Our Guest resource person for the day, Chief (Barrister) Robinson Ariyo led the second part of the session. He started by explaining his journey through the Nigerian Educational system; from Ajagbodundun village,to Ikengbuwa Primary School in Warri city and then to secondary school. He was driven by the urge to study further. He wanted to study law but did not have the entrance score to study law at the University. He then settled for philosophy. However, he did not give up on his dreams of becoming a lawyer. After graduation, he went back to school to study law. He later encouraged the participants to aspire to be greater because the opportunities available to them now are better than what they (Chief R. Ariyo) ever had while growing up.

Chief (Barrister) R. Ariyo informed the participants that law and order became a thing when the world concluded that it is not fair for people to kill and commit other crimes without being punished. He enumerated some of the advantages of being a lawyer to include law being a professional job, the respect lawyers receive from the society, consultations by organisations and decision makers including community heads before decision making.

He also advised them on the requirements to study law in Nigeria which includes the need to get a minimum of credit in the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Literature, Christian Religious Study, Government, History. Furthermore, research skills, keen eye for detail, communication and persuasion skills are required to become a successful lawyer.

As part of the discussions, he explained the meaning of the symbol of law, which is the effigy of justice. This is a blindfolded statue of a woman holding a sword and a scale also known as lady Justitia. She is an allegorical personification of the moral force in the judicial system. This simply means that the justice system must be seen to reflect the principles of fairness and equity. The blindfolds represent giving justice without the bias of seeing who is involved and removing any threat of partiality. The scales of Justice represent the strengths of a case’s support and opposition. The double-edged sword represents the sword of reason and justice, which can be wielded against any party in any case.

Following the introduction, Chief Ariyo decided to test the knowledge of the participants with the story of King Solomon and the two women contending for a child. A participant explicitly told the story of King Solomon. This was used to buttress the importance of a fair and wise judge. A judge listens to both sides of a case before passing judgment, as in the case of King Solomon. A judge is not supposed to be biased no matter who is involved in the case. Nemu Judex intersasoir means you cannot be a judge in your own case. This tells that a judge cannot judge his/her own case.

In the second part of the test, Chief Ariyo created a debate session for the participants. The debate was centered on whose work is most tedious between a mother and a father was done. Two participants promptly volunteered to be the debaters, with Pearl (a girl) speaking in support of a father, while Success (a boy) spoke in favour of a mother. After a very robust presentation by both parties, Chief Ariyo asked the rest of the participants to serve as the judges and decide the winner of the debate like King Solomon. Pearl and Success were judged by their arguments during the debate. Some were tilted in favour of the mother, while others were in favour of the father. In the end, there was a tie between the debaters.

The session was enlightening and educative.

Other key activities during the Session

There were no additional activities during this session

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