The body of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria Abuja branch on Thursday called for the provision of regular body and health checks to ensure that judges continue to discharge their responsibilities.
Chief Chris Uche SAN made the call on behalf of the body at the Valedictory Session in honour of a late judge, Justice Valentine Ashi.
Ashi who held from Obudu, Cross River died on June 27, in Abuja
Uche said: “We have to highlight on the challenges serving judges face in the discharge of their duties.
“The tasks of the judges is demanding.
“We will appreciate what the institution is doing to improve the health of the judge’s, we crave our Lordship’s indulgence to see if more time would be provided for our judges.
“We also need additional facilities for the provision of regular body and health checks to ensure that our judges are at all time enjoy optional health to continue to discharge their responsibility.”
Also speaking, Justice Ishaq Bello, the FCT High Court Chief Judge, expressed concerns over heavy ”dockets of judges, saying that some develop illness while handling cases.
Bello also expressed concerns over the health of judges, saying that in the nine judges that passed on so far, three including Ashi died of cancer.
Earlier in his tribute to the late judge, Bello stated that in numerous civil and criminal cases, Ashi gave exemplary judgment and he was noted for his wisdom, fairness and justice.
He said: “In matters affecting personal liberty, he was among the best at finding ways to help the victims of those dark times.
“Throughout his career on the bench, he has endeavoured to do justice as a jurist, striving not only to help those less fortunate than himself but also to train those who sought to follow in his footsteps.
“He set a remarkable example in that he conducted himself always fair, decent and caring.”
Bello added that Ashi’s approach on the bench to legal analysis provided an invaluable lesson and one which has benefited many counsel as they progressed to the bar.
He said that on that basis alone his contribution to the bar has been beyond measures.
He said: “No one can deny that for the legal profession, there is sadness for the passing of a judge who rose above his peers in a time when others shrank back.”
In her contribution, Maureen Standly- Idum, deputy director general at Enugu campus of Law school, said that the late judge was a very friendly person.
She said as a lecturer at the law school, Ashi had an excellent relationship with both his colleagues and the students.
She said: “The late judge had a good sense of humour.”
NAN reports that in her speech, the deceased’s wife, Anastasia, thanked all present, adding that the kind words of all who spoke have strengthened her and family.
She said: “My late husband was glued to his job. A few days before his death, he promised me that he would work less and see his doctor more,
“But he did not keep that promise. He told me that he wanted to finish all the matters he was handling before he goes for his treatment.”
NAN reports that on December 7, 2014, Ashi in a ruling, made the headlines by restraining former President Obasanjo from going on with plans to publish or have someone publish on his behalf, his autobiography titled, ‘My watch’.
NAN also reports that only in December 2018, he ordered security agencies to arrest and produce the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, within 72 hours.