It was time for the Canadian justice system to appoint a new Judge to head the Provincial Court of Alberta some months ago; the privilege was opened to lawyers with at least 10years of experience at the bar. Olugbenga Sholeye, alongside several others who met the criteria applied.
Olugbenga obtained his Bachelor of Law and Masters in Law from the University of Ife(now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1980 and 1984 respectively. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy of Law also in 1995 in Nigeria. In 2003, he obtained another Masters of Law from the University of Alberta. Though he worked as a Law Professor in Nigeria, he is on an appointment to Edmonton Criminal Division where he currently practices as a major counsel for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench
When the applications are done, they are first considered by the Judicial Council, which recommends applicants to the Provincial Court Nominating Committee. The committee then selects candidates, interviews, and makes recommendations to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
After seating over the round table, Olugbenga Sholeye was fortunate to be on the list of those recommended for appointment. Olugbenga’s appointment took effect from July 12, 2021.
Others who made the list also were Grace Auger, appointed to Lethbridge/Southern Region; Gordon Hatch, appointed to Red Deer/Central Region; Sandra Mah appointed to Calgary Criminal Division and Calgary Region; Karen Molle, QC, appointed to Calgary Criminal Division and Calgary Region; Jason Neustaeter, QC, appointed to Wetaskiwin/Central Region; T. Michael Scrase appointed to Red Deer/Central Region and Gregory Shannon, QC, appointed to Calgary Civil Division.
Sending goodwill message to the newly appointed judges, the Nigerian-born Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta, Kaycee Madu said, “I congratulate all these worthy appointees and wish them success in their new roles as judges of the Provincial Court of Alberta. This group of appointees represents the diversity present in Alberta and will help increase access to justice for Albertans.
Furthermore, he added, “These appointments make progress on my commitment to have our justice system reflect Alberta today. Our province will be better served by the elevation of these appointees to the bench, and I thank them for agreeing to serve Alberta.”
We celebrate Olugbenga Sholeye for yet lifting the banner of Nigeria high.