The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Ade Ipaye described Justice Akaahs (rtd) as “one of the models of our legal system.”
He made the remark, yesterday, at the launching of the book, “Akaahs: The Conscience of a Man,” which was authored by Barr. Gloria Ballason of the House of Justice, a Kaduna-based legal firm.
Osibanjo went on to say Akaahs became known when he was serving as Justice of the Appeal Court in the Lagos Division when suddenly everybody came to realize that this is one Judge who will give you justice according to law.
When you read his judgement, you will not be able to fault it on the basis of clear contradiction to what the legal principles will ordinarily indicate. He had that reputation even as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. It was no wonder then that he was elevated to the Supreme Court where he also had the most distinguished unblemished career and retired as one of the best of the judiciary.
The man at the epicenter of the event, Justice K. B. Akaahs, JSC Rtd OFR thanked Justice Umaru Abdullahi whom he said he knew way back in the early 70s. “What he did for me I don’t think even a uterine brother would have done it to me. He gave me guidance, he was always patient with me and was also a very, very accommodating personality.”
Akaahs further stated, people who are interested in any case will go to any length to see that it goes their way “…But, if you stand firm (as a judge) there are those who will clap and tell you the judiciary is the last hope of a common man. Those who are not favoured by your judgement will lament, some will come to say this is jungle justice,” the jurist said.
He urged judges to remember that before they serve as judges in any of the strata they swore with the Bible or the Quran and it is important that those words that were pronounced be kept.
“Remember that on the Last Day the judgement book will be opened and you will give an account of and for yourself. So I urge all the justices that are still on the bench to remember that there is a day of reckoning. You can make mistakes, no doubt, we are human beings but, let those mistakes not be such that are deliberate because if they are deliberate you will answer for them.”
Akaahs ushered praises on Gloria Ballason (author of the book), he described her as “an Amazon,” and said, she dares where angels fear to tread. She is almost, always on the right coast and unless there are people who can stand up to be counted, then of course, freedom will fly away.
Author of the book, Ballason, said, the legacies of Justice Akaahs is a worthy one for the judiciary and the nation at large and the core values that the book represent is to find the courage to stand for what is right and to be confident and consistent in values because it is the only way that the broken places in our country can be fixed. ” …Nigeria will not be fixed by people who believe in one thing today and the next day they change. It will be fixed by people who take a stand, who are willing to pay the price and who remain at it till the very end.And the story of Justice Akaahs at the Bench is of one who believed, stood up to be counted, stayed at it until he retired and is now a laudable story and metaphor,” she said.
Continuing the Author and Chief Executive of House of Justice said, “
…interestingly, this book is in three versions: the biography version, which has a prologue written by Professor Chidi Odinkalu and the novel version which has the Thought Reflection written by Audu Maikori and then the Children version. We had to do it that way because we wanted to appeal to all segments of the society to look at this story and to buy into it. It is a story that mirrors who we are, the struggle to do right, the sometimes loneliness in walking the road less traveled by, it is also a story that says we believe that this can be what it has been made to be but, it will take the sacrifice of men and women who believe to stay on that part, ” Ballason said.