The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade in her speech while congratulating three judges newly sworn-in by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode has revealed the widening gulf between a Lagos High court judge and his or her Ekiti State counterpart.
Three judges; Mr. Emmanuel Ogundare, Ms. Sherifat Solebo and Mrs. Idowu Alakija, were on Monday, sworn-in before Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos at the Governor’s Office at Alausa, Ikeja.
The judges are the first set of judicial officers sworn-in by the administration of Gov. Ambode.
Gov. Ambode, in his speech, acknowledged the importance of the occasion.
He said, “This ceremony is another significant milestone in my administration’s quest to ease the life of the people of Lagos State.
“The Lagos State Judiciary is the most vibrant judiciary in the country and over the years has set a reputation for itself as a trailblazer across the country through erudite judgements.
“Judicial reforms have however, not been stopped and the recommendations of the summit put together by the Ministry of Justice will be enforced.”
He enjoined the new judges to be of good character and conduct.
“By this appointment, your conduct and carriage will now be subjected to public scrutiny, you must dispense justice without fear or favour,” the Governor said.
The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade in her speech congratulated the newly appointed judges noted that they were selected on merit by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“I congratulate the three judges, who wrote carefully and selected on merit, the process was concluded with an interview at the NJC in Abuja.
“Six individuals were sent to the NJC for approval but three had their appointment as judges approved.
“I will like to thank the Governor for approving the exercise and all those who contributed to its success,” Atilade said.
The CJ noted that the judiciary of Lagos State was the most vibrant in the country.
“I commend the Lagos State judiciary for its productivity and I renew my pledge to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the NJC to appoint new judges into the Lagos State Judiciary.
“Each judge in Lagos High Court have approximately 500 cases in their docket, the Chief Judge of Ekiti recently told me that the whole of Ekiti State had only 400 cases in their High Court.
“I urge Gov. Ambode to give more room for persons to serve in the High Court, our Magistrates are currently ‘top heavy’ with some Magistrates serving for twenty years, I hope they will be rewarded accordingly.
“I commend you all for your hard work, please keep the flag flying,” she said.
Mr Adeniji Kazeem, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice noted that the swearing of the judges without help with the speedy dispensation of justice.
“They have been of amazing character and have immensely contributed to Justice administration.
“They have a robust knowledge of the law, they have the charisma and mien required for the bench,” he said.
Justice Idowu Alakija, a representative of the recently appointed judges in her response, showed appreciation on behalf of her colleagues.
She said: “It is with pride and joy that I stand here this afternoon , on behalf of the newly appointed judges.
“It has been a long road and as the CJ said earlier, this is the day the Lord has made.
“It will like to say thank you most especially to Gov. Ambode who without his help, we would not be here.
“We would like to thank all the bodies; the NJC, the State Judicial Service Commission, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and our fellow judges for making today possible.
She also promised that her and her colleagues will discharge their duties effectively.
“Myself and my colleagues promise to exercise our duties diligently, without fear or favour.
“We shall abide by the law, the rules and code of conduct that governs the judiciary and shall contribute diligently to the growth of the judiciary,” she said.