THE JUDICIARY OF SWAZILAND
WELCOMING REMARKS BY THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE, HIS LORDSHIP MR JUSTICE M.M. RAMODIBEDI, IN HONOUR OF MR JUSTICE EMMANUEL AKOMAYE AGIM, AT THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SUPREME COURT ON 2 MAY 2012
Your Lordships the Justices of the Supreme Court
The Honourable Attorney General
The Director of Public Prosecutions
The Registrar of the Supreme Court
The Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court
The President of the Law Society
Members of the Law Society
It is my singular honour today to welcome to our permanent Supreme Court Bench the current Chief Justice of the Republic of The Gambia, His Lordship Professor Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, sitting on my far right. We are thus witnessing history in the making since it is the first time two sitting Chief Justices sit on the same Bench at the same time. It is also worth noting that all the six Judges of this Court come from six different Commonwealth countries, namely, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Guyana, Ghana, Swaziland and The Gambia. Furthermore, for the first time in the history of this country, and indeed in the history of our sister countries Botswana and Lesotho, we have an all-black-Bench.
Mr Justice Agim was born in Nigeria on 26 April 1960. He is a high profile legal heavyweight. His CV runs to some 11 pages. I will only highlight a few of his achievements due to time constraints.
Mr Justice Agim obtained his LLB (Hons) from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. He proceeded to the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom where he obtained LLM. He is a Professor of law at the West African Insurance Institute (Dennis Richelieu International Insurance Research Centre) in the Gambia. He is also an Adjunct professor of law at the University of the Gambia.
He has written several books and publications including the following:-
(1) He is the co-author of the Commonwealth Guideliness for The Treatment of Victims of Crime.
(2) GambiaLegal System.
(3) Co-author of Pre-Trial Criminal Processes in the Commonwealth States – The Gambia Experience.
(4) United Nations Convention on International Sale of Goods Contract 1980 and the Gambia.
(5) The Law of Sedition in Nigeria (unpublished).
(6) Statement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (unpublished).
(7) Gambia Criminal Appeals Cases Digest (unpublished).
Furthermore, he has delivered papers at several international Conferences and Workshops.
Mr Justice Agim has chaired several organizations. As Chief Justice of the Gambia he chairs the Judicial Service Commission. He is a recipient of the following Honours/Awards:-
(1) Order of the Republic of the Gambia (ORG) which is one of the highest national honours in that country.
(2) Patron of the Nigerian Community in the Gambia.
(3) Special Recognition for distinguished academic work in law by the West African Insurance Institute in the Gambia.
(4) Golden Achievements Award by 1985 Class, Faculty of Law, University of Calabar for distinguished academic achievements.
(5) Special Awards by Ogoja Branch Nigerian Bar Association for distinguished contribution to the development of the legal profession in Nigeria (February 2010).
(6) Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Calabar Alumni Association (November 2010).
Mr Justice Agim has held the following positions, amongst others:-
(1) Presiding Officer, National Assembly of the Republic of The Gambia during the election of Honourable Speaker, National Assembly.
(2) Acting Chief Justice, Republic of The Gambia during periods of brief absence of the then Chief Justice.
(3) Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of The Gambia.
(4) President, Court of Appeal of the Republic of The Gambia.
(5) Justice of Appeal, Court of Appeal, of the Republic of The Gambia.
(6) Judge advocate, General Court Martial, The Gambia.
(7) Lecturer legal System and Constitutional law, West African Insurance Institute.
(8) Adjunct Professor of Legal Systems at West African Insurance (founded and funded by ECOWAS and supported by UNCTAD).
(9) Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Republic of The Gambia.
(10) Managing Solicitor/Advocate – Veritas Chambers, No. 1A Ogoja Rod, Obudu, Cross River State of Nigeria.
(11) Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ogaja Branch, Cross River State, Nigeria.
(12) Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association, Ogoja Branch Cross River State of Nigeria.
Mr Justice Agim has practised law, both as a private legal practitioner and as a public prosecutor. He is both a Judicial Trainer and a Commonwealth Crime Victims Expert. As pointed out earlier, Mr Justice Agim is the sitting Chief Justice of The Gambia. He presides in the Supreme Court which, like here, is the highest court in that country. Appeals from the Court of Appeal are heard by the Supreme Court. We are deeply honoured to have a man of such esteemed legal standing as Mr Justice Agim on our permanent Supreme Court Bench. The Swaziland Judiciary will benefit from his vast judicial experience. We wish him a happy and fruitful judicial career in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
I thank you,
CHIEF JUSTICE OF SWAZILAND