New Judicial Year: Ambode Calls For Transparency And Accountability In Legal System

The governor of Lagos state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has called on judges and lawyers in the state to embrace transparency and accountability in the administration of justice so as to enhance confidence in the legal system.

Speaking during the service held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina in commemoration of the commencement of the 2017/2018 Golden Jubilee New Legal Year of the State’s Judiciary, Ambode disclosed that Lagosians have high expectations from the government, adding that it was important for all stakeholders to demonstrate patriotism and leadership and as well, work continuously to promote the rule of law and guarantee protection of lives and property.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); former Chief Judge of the State, Justice Inumidun Akande (2nd left); Acting Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke (left); Bishop of Lagos Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo (2nd right) and Justice Doris Okuwobi (right) during the 2017/2018 Golden Jubilee new Legal Year service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, on Monday, October 9, 2017.

His words: “Indeed, Lagos State has a general reputation for trailblazing reforms in the justice sector and in many other sectors. In particular, our Judiciary has earned a status for great integrity and independence over the years and we are proud of it.

“The Judiciary since its creation in 1967 has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. The volume of cases handled by the Judges and Magistrates has necessitated the appointment of additional Judges and Magistrates with improved welfare and continuous infrastructural developments to further enhance the quality of justice delivery in the State.

“The judicial arm of the government remains the only and lasting beacon of hope, fairness, and justice to all citizens while the legal profession has a vital role to play in promoting the cause of justice, protecting human rights and upholding professional standards”.

Ambode also stated that the commissioning of the first DNA and Forensic Centre in Lagos state was done as part of efforts to fulfill the state government’s promises to advance the cause of justice in the state.

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He further disclosed that the DNA and Forensic Centre was commissioned to aid investigation and dispensation of justice, thus, called on members of the judiciary to collaborate with the executive to scale up justice delivery.

“There is a popular saying that, “a house is only as good as its foundation”. This Administration has laid that foundation for good governance, peace, security and public order and our justice system must remain sound, fair and effective. The good people of Lagos State must be further assured of transparency and accountability in their access to justice.

“The expectations of the citizenry are enormous and require all stakeholders to demonstrate patriotism and leadership as well as knowledge and skills. We must work continuously to enhance confidence in the legal system, promote the rule of law and guarantee protection of lives and properties,” he said.

Meanwhile, the acting Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke commended Governor Ambode for his commitment in enhancing justice delivery.

She assured that the State Judiciary, under her, would effectively discharge its statutory duties of dispensing justice to the people.

“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to members of the bar. We cannot do it alone. We need you; we want to stop corruption; we want to stop laziness; we want to work and serve the people; Governor Ambode is doing so much to bring investors to the State and one thing the lawyers must do is to stop unnecessary application for adjournment; we are not going to allow it and we are going to talk to ourselves about it,” Oke added.

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