Members of NBA Ikorodu Branch are honoured by the invitation extended to their branch Chairman to deliver a valedictory speech at this occasion.

A lot has been said about the birth, educational qualification and judicial career advancement of my lord that I do not intend to bore us with those facts again.

Though Hon. Justice S.B.A. Candide - Johnson did not have the opportunity of sitting in the Ikorodu Division of the High Court throughout his judicial career, the fact that some lawyers from Ikorodu had contacts with his lordship while he was at the Bar and also practised in my lord's courts after his elevation to the bench make us to be also eminently qualified to know my lord Hon. Justice S.B.A. Candide - Johnson and be able to say few things about his lordship.

During his lordship's time at the Bar, my lord was a consummate Bar man. I was privileged to know and meet my lord at the Bar while working with my principal of life - distinguished Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN. I used to admire his lordship from afar, I loved his good dress sense and the meticulous way he used to present his case. It did not therefore come to us as a surprise when his lordship became one of the Bar leaders in NBA Lagos Branch and was later appointed as a Judge of Lagos State. 

On the bench, my lord Hon. Justice S.B.A. Candide - Johnson because of his rich background as a Bar man, was versatile, erudite, efficient, decisive, firm, yet friendly with lawyers and was able to deliver landmark decisions.

One of such cases is the case involving my branch which nearly threw my branch into chaos. That is the case of Bayo Akinlade vs NBA & Anor. When the NBA national body suspended our immediate past Chairman, and appointed an acting chairman. My lord brought his Bar experience and his experience on the bench to 'quench the fire' which the decision of NBA national would have caused in my branch by setting aside the suspension of our immediate past Chairman and returned peace to NBA Ikorodu Branch.

It was later in my years of practice that I got to know that his lordship has a rich pedigree, in that my lord's father was a former Judge of the Lagos High Court who later became the Chief Judge of Lagos State. The point I am struggling to make is that his lordship earned the level he attained as a distinguished Bar man and on the bench not on account of his pedigree, but based on his abilities and competence. 

Permit me my lord, the Hon. Chief Judge to use this auspicious occasion to call for more involvement of NBA in the appointment of Judges. The present practice whereby the NBA are contacted after the shortlisting of those to be appointed as Judges, with due respect my lord, is not good enough. The local NBA should be in the picture from the beginning. This is because, we as practitioners, we know ourselves and as demonstrated by his lordship, the retiring Hon. Justice S.B.A. Candide - Johnson, he was able to perform creditably well on the bench because of his practice experience at the Bar. 

My lord, we can as well go back to the good old days when ascending to the bench was based on invitation by judges of brilliant lawyers who practiced before them. With a caveat that these brilliant legal practitioners should not reject the said invitation to the bench in preference to their aspirations for the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN). Taking up such invitation is the sacrifice we legal practitioners should make to enrich the bench, and to advance and promote effective administration of Justice. 

I congratulate my lord and his family on his retirement and wish my retired but not tired Hon. Justice S.B.A. Candide - Johnson a healthy and truly restful retirement. 

Thank you all.

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