Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, for his ongoing efforts aimed at sanitizing the judiciary of corruption and malfeasance, warning that justice delay is an invitation to anarchy.
The governor gave the commendation while inaugurating Mrs. Adenike Adeeyo and Mr. Adebukola Lajide as judges of the state’s High Court, at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, on Thursday. They were immediately presented with official Prado sport utility vehicles.
The governor lauded the state’s judges for living above board by eschewing corrupt practices that may attract sanctions and capable of bringing the state into disrepute.
Ajimobi, who congratulated the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Munta Abimbola, for what he called his exemplary leadership, said he was particularly impressed by the impartiality, fearlessness and forthrightness of the state’s judges in the dispensation of justice.
The governor said that his administration’s avowed adherence to the independence of the judiciary and supremacy of the rule of law was evident in some cases that the state government had lost, which he said was the beauty of democracy.
Ajimobi said, “I must commend the efforts of the new CJN aimed at sanitizing the bench across the nation. Thankfully, our state is considerably exempt from the malfeasance and corruption charges that recently ruffled the judiciary in the country.
“To this end, I wish to publicly commend the Chief Judge of Oyo State for his exemplary leadership and sense of fidelity to all that is noble and honourable. I, therefore, admonish our judges to follow his example by holding firmly to their integrity, shunning all acts that can bring the bench to public opprobrium.
“We are hopeful that the addition of these two new judges to our bench shall add to the value of justice delivery in our state. We expect that they will approach their new duties with utmost fear of God, coupled with a high sense of integrity, wisdom and candour, so as to justify the confidence reposed in them.”
The governor charged judges to work towards effective delivery of justice to redress the crisis of congestion of cases in the courts and to avert subversion of people’s rights.
If not addressed, Ajimobi warned that court congestion could encourage self-help and promote anarchy in the land.
In its commitment to the maintenance of peace, tranquillity and egalitarianism, the governor said that his administration had appointed 13 new judges since 2011, including the two that were inaugurated on Thursday.
Ajimobi stressed that the government had never been interested in counting the costs of the said commitments, but had instead chosen to always concentrate on the utilitarian principles that were hinged more on the public good.
The governor said, “Every day, our people cry for justice. They complain about the injustice in the land. And the reasons are not farfetched. Our courts are congested with cases, while people’s rights are trampled upon by individuals and institutions, thereby posing grave challenges to the effective delivery of justice.
“If and when such inadequacies and injustices are allowed to fester unattended, the society unwittingly regresses to that Hobbesian state where ‘life is nasty, brutish and short.’
“It, therefore, becomes imperative for a responsible government to put in place a well-fortified judiciary peopled by eminent legal minds of impeccable character. Such a judiciary must be serviced by highly resourceful professionals who are well versed in the practice and procedures of the law.”