Future of Nigeria depends on Judiciary -Akeredolu, as Ondo gets new Four Judges

By: Ade Adeleke

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Monday in Akure swore-in four judges of Ondo State High Court, with a call on them to always protect the interest of the nation.

In what can be described as a unique occasion in the life of his administration, the governor said the future of Nigeria depends largely on the performance of judges.

“The future of the judiciary and indeed the nation depends, to a large extent, on how our judges perform their duties, effectively. In effect, judges are called upon to carry out their adjudicatory duties to all and sundry in the society without fear, favour or ill will”, Akeredolu said.

The new High Court judges, the governor said, were found worthy and suitable for appointment after consideration by the National Judicial Council.

According to Governor Akeredolu, the new High Court judges represent some of the state’s best and finest materials at the Bar and from Lower Bench.

He added that Justices Gilbert Bamidele Olupitan, Olajide John Abe, Ademola Enikuomehin and Tope Adedipe, came to their new positions with wide and varying experiences for the benefit of Ondo State and her citizens.

Reeling out the qualities of a judicial officer, Akeredolu told the new judges to make sobriety, continence and general disposition towards rectitude their hallmark.

The governor added that Ondo State would not accept anything short of their best.

‘It is in this light that we continue to insist on having the best occupy the Bench,” Akeredolu said.

The governor, while decrying the recent challenges thrown up by the incursion of strange elements into the judiciary, stressed that a judge must be a shining light to the society because his conduct and behaviour reflect the public image of the judiciary.

He said: “the average citizen must be able to perceive the intervention of the Bench as credible, regardless of the outcome. Litigants must leave believing that justice has been done.

As judicial officers, the governor urged the new judges to be beyond reproach and noted that their ways might not be pleasing to the crooked, but must, however, be held in great reverence by even the most unscrupulous in the community.

As people living within the people, the governor is of the strong belief that the judges’ callings remove them from common practices because their words were always measured.

The governor said: “a judicial officer exudes an aura of invincibility. He possesses a rare but real power of life and death.

“Any individual with these awesome powers cannot be allowed to indulge in usual observance of ordinary mortals. He is special, therefore, the exaction must be intense.”

Akeredolu blamed the corruption in the judiciary in recent times on challenges arising from the incursion of strange elements into the nation’s legal system.

The governor explained that it was sad to note that even judicial officers at the appellate courts were not immuned from the malady of corruption.

Earlier, the State Chief Judge, Justice Olarenwaju Akeredolu, commended the governor and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, for their positive interest in the affairs of the judiciary.

Justice Akeredolu equally lauded the governor for his commitment to the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary and urged the new judges to brace up for the task ahead.

She however solicited more support from the state government especially in the appointment of more judges, magistrates, personnel of the customary court and other staff to fill the yawning gap.

Responding on behalf of others, Olupitan expressed gratitude to the state government for the opportunity to serve and promised to influence the judiciary positively.

Olupitan assured the governor that the new judges would justify the confidence reposed on them, noting that they were conscious of the onerous task ahead of them.

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