Justice Yakubu Gyang Dakwak was today sworn in by Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State as the acting chief judge of the State.
Justice Yakubu Gyang Dakwak hails from Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State and succeeds Justice Pius Damulak.
The inauguration of the new acting Chief judge took place at the presidential lodge, old Government house Rayfield, Jos.
Read Below the full text of Governor Simon Lalong’s Speech at the occasion
ADDRESS OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR, RT. HON. SIMON BAKO LALONG, AT THE VALEDICTORY SESSION IN HONOUR OF RETIRING CHIEF JUDGE, JUSTICE PIUS DAMULAK CON, ON FRIDAY, THE 22ND OF SEPTEMBER, 2017 AT THE HIGH COURT PREMISES, JOS
Today’s Valedictory Session brings to mind, the self prodding question that should occupy the mind of every human being, as we live in spiritual and physical consciousness of how our time here on earth is spent. “How will I be remembered?” This should be the primary concern of everyone who lives with the understanding that to everything in life there is a beginning and an end.
Dr. Horatius Bonar of Edingburg (1870) set the words of the Song “Fading away like the stars of the morning” which Ira D. Sankey set to music in the Sacred Songs and Solos in 1891. I find one of the stanzas and chorus apt to represent here;
“Only the truth that in life we have spoken,
Only the seed that on earth we have sown;
These shall pass onward when we are forgotten;
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done”.
Only remembered, only remembered;
Only remembered by what we have done;
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.
Today we are not only celebrating our retiring Chief Judge, My Lord Justice Pius Damulak KSS CON, but we are remembering his contribution to life beyond Legal Jurisprudence. One eulogy after another, we are reminded of the hard work, dedication, commitment and sacrifices in the sleepless night and family life that were spent in research, comparative study of Judgment, the sophisticated isolation of facts and putting them against points of law to make a sound Judgment which Justifies the place of the Courts as the Temple of Justice and the place of hope for the common man.
Today we celebrate and remember the Service of a man who has contributed his quota beyond words, in ensuring that all through his service as a Legal Practitioner, Judge and Head of the Judiciary, the process of Justice delivery does not fall foul of the law; and that a profession he has lived for all his life, is not in any way made an object of public ridicule in the face of growing corruption and loss of societal values.
To achieve this, personal conviction, integrity, honour, discipline, professionalism and the fear of God, must have gone into the hours, days, weeks, months and years of service in the Bar and on the Bench.
Like I said on the 4th of June 2017, during the valedictory session in honour of retired Judges of the Plateau State Judiciary, my presence at this valedictory session is an open attestation of the deep appreciation of Plateau State for the years of sacrifice services that have been put in Judicial Service on the Bench to enrich jurisprudence and by extension help in entrenching a robust Democracy in Plateau State and Nigeria in general.
My Lord, Chief Judge, through your service from the Bar to the Bench, you will be remembered like the words of the song, for the seed that on earth you have sown and for the fruits of the harvest, that generations yet unborn will continue to reap.
The Sound Judgments, the practice direction you have given, the mentoring, the benevolence, the smile you put on the faces of litigants, the peace you have brokered, and all the value addition that you have made in the administration of the State Judiciary, have carved a niche for you in the annals of history and you have now been engraved unto the plague of Judicial Honour; You are not only finishing well, but finishing strong with a record that is worthy of emulation by posterity.
For all these, on behalf of myself; a humble Practitioner also in the Temple of Justice, my family, the Government and good people of Plateau State, I convey sincere gratitude and I assure you that our State remains eternally indebted to you and your family.
I will not forget to thank your wife, children and entire family for their part in this journey that has expended the time, affection, companionship and attention meant for them. They are the ones who we are truly celebrating today, and on behalf of the State, we covet God’s abundant blessings for them. Now they can have what is left of this man who they gave to us for the last four decades, it is my prayer that the value of what is left will keep you thanking God, that he has returned to you fully; for like the saying goes, “it is better late than never”.
Let me at this point give assurances to my Lord the retiring Chief Judge, that all you have longed to see in the State, which will guarantee efficient and effective Justice delivery will be done by our Administration. You have seen how far we have gone with our commitment and you know how much we are willing to do. Please rest convinced that we shall not relent, because while in retirement, your advisory access to power which you have earned as an elder Statesman, will keep us under your interested watch.
On a final note, let me leave you with the retirement blessing of Barbara D. MacAdam, the American Art Poet and Executive Editor of the New York Art News;
You started on this Journey, so many years ago,
And now its time to leave behind dear friends
you’ve come to know.
You sought Divine direction and a heart to
do His will. Your work became your passion,
as you used your gift and skills.
You set the highest standards for yourself
and others too, showing honour, pride and
dignity – they saw the best in you
A “rags to riches” story need not be your bottom line.
The priceless thing we gain in life, often
comes from the Divine.
So don’t waste one more minute wishing
for things that might have been, rather watch
the seeds you’ve planted grow, and feel His
I pray God keeps you safe and well, wherever
you may turn, surrounded by your loved ones,
Living out the dreams you’ve earned.
And in the quiet of your heart,
May you hear God softly say…
“My good and faithful servant,
I am so proud of you this day.
Once more, I thank you for your meritorious tenure on the Bench, and may the Lord Almighty, who is the faithful rewarder of every service, bless you and keep you blissful in Retirement.
This will be all your Lordship, and I beg to rest my case.
Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong