Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Monday swore in the pioneer President of the State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Solomon Akinteye, with a charge on the judiciary to speed up the process of dispensing justice in order to decongest the courts.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, the governor also urged Akinteye to immediately generate new rules of practice and procedures towards enhancing speedy delivery of justice.
In another ceremony, the governor also administered the oath of office on the new Head of Service, Mrs. Olawumi Ogunesan, during when he enjoined her to join hands with his administration to enhance the ongoing reform of the civil service.
Ogunesan, who until her appointment was the permanent secretary in the ministry of local government and chieftaincy matters, succeeded Mr. Soji Eniade, who was recently appointed the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Administration upon his retirement.
The governor described the Customary Court of Appeal as a creation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), making it a superior court of record.
He also quoted Section 3 of the Customary Court of Appeal Law, 2008, as stating that the court shall be a superior court of record to which appeals from customary courts shall lie in civil proceedings.
Ajimobi said: “With the establishment and full operation of this court, it is envisaged that the regular courts will be decongested with matters whose jurisdiction is covered by the relevant customary courts.
“Customary law, in its modern day application, will complement our existing laws in appropriate cases.
“The court, whose President is being sworn in today, will serve as the major vehicle to blend our appropriate customary laws and practices with constitutional validity. I urge you to immediately generate new rules of practice and procedures for speedy delivery of justice.”
The governor expressed the hope that the giant stride which he said his administration had attained would also streamline the adjudicating process in the customary courts.
He called on the leadership of the state’s judiciary to set new rules of practice and procedure for the Customary Court of Appeal, its judges and the registry to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the judicial process.
Speaking during the inauguration of the new HOS, Ajimobi reiterated his administration’s commitment to transforming the state public service, stressing that her choice as the new Head of Service was purely on merit.
The governor said: “The position of the Head of Service is the ultimate rung of the ladder in our civil service. The office is responsible for the leadership, management and capacity development of the civil and public service in the state.
“It is the engine of governance and the administrative machinery for implementing government directives, programmes, activities and policies.
“In choosing the new HOS, painstaking efforts were put into carefully selecting someone who possesses uncommon qualities, including but not limited to experience, professionalism, diligence and loyalty to the vision and leadership of our government”.
Ajimobi urged the new HOS to face her assignment with the needed zeal and turn deaf ears to verbal attacks side talks in order not to be derailed.