Lagos Reiterates Commitment To Improve Justice Dispensation
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated his administration’s continuous cooperation and support for the judiciary to ensure improved access to justice by all Lagosians irrespective of social and economic status.
The governor disclosed this in his goodwill message delivered at the Lagos Central Mosque to mark the beginning of the 2021/2022 legal year, today.
Sanwo-Olu said inspite of challenges, especially the mindless destruction and vandalisation of Igbosere High court, the oldest court building in Nigeria, the judicial system has continued to function effectively and efficiently.
He commended the State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba and the entire members of the Lagos State Judiciary for the success recorded in the last legal year in spite of challenge posed by COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the EndSars protest which was hijacked by hoodlums to wreak havoc on public and private assets.
The Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Olarewaju Elegushi, also assured the judiciary of the continued support of his administration.
He assured also that his administration remained committed to the ongoing reconstruction of Igbosere High Court and renovation of others courts including the digitisation project, aimed at enhancing speedy dispensation of justice, which is one of the objectives of the security and governance pillar of our administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that is a reflection of the quality of leadership and commitment of the entire members of the judicial arm.
Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Lagos State University (LASU), Ustadh Kabir Paramọlẹ, who spoke on the topic “Essence of Effective Administration of Justice ìn Nigeria” at the Central Mosque, Lagos stated that it would be difficult for the country to move forward without Justice.
Prof. Paramọlẹ admonished judges to have the fear of Allah and deliver justice with fairness.
Th State Chief Justice Kazeem Alogba, in his adddress assured the people of the State of improved performance in the new Legal Year.
He said in spite of the burning of Igbosere High Court by Endsars protesters, Lagos judiciary is back in its feet and poised to perform better in the new legal year.
Also, the Lord Bishop of Awori Anglican Diocese, Reverend Akin Atere has counseled judges and lawyers to be just in all their dealings and to shun corrupt practices while enforcing the law.
Reverend Atere gave the advice at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, in commemoration of 2021/2022 Legal Year Service.
Reverend Atere in his sermon titled, “the Joy of the Lord is Our Strength”, said the soul of Nigeria is in the hands of the judges because they determine almost all the key affairs of the nation.
Citing Nehemiah 8: 9-12, Reverend Atere stated that there is going to be God’s judgment for all insincerity, perversion of justice and for all the vices in the Bench and Bar.
He also decried some of the corrupt practices of lawyers which he said is ‘clogged the wheel of justice in the nation’.
“You are the interpreter of the Nigerian Bible called the Constitution. We are all your congregation. You determine who owns the land, many have been saved by you, while many destinies have been altered. Many look unto you to have joy while others are put in perpetual sorrow.”
He said that the reason for the present predicament of the nation is not far fetched because citizens have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
According to him, “In some cases, judgments depends on how much is in your purse, your position in government and the society. Favouritism, nepotism, tribalism, self interest has almost taken over government, equity and fairness.
“What about the corrupt practices by lawyers? The seeking of unnecessary adjournments, application to delay the duration of cases and attempt to bribe judges to pervert justice.
“How about the bribing of court clerks to remove sensitive information from a case file or to refuse to list a case on a cause list. What of connivance in doctoring the wishes of a deceased after their demise.
“Many times lawyers are found falsifying and doctoring documentary evidences. So many evil things we do because of money or fame.”
He thereore called on erring judges and lawyers to repent of their wrongs and to be voices of the voiceless and the defender of the defenceless in the society.