Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State has charged judges to be upright in the administration and delivery of justice.
The governor made the appeal during special services held simultaneously at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina and Central Mosque, Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Lagos to mark the opening of the 2013/2014 new legal year.
He said: “You should give your judgement and do justice and ensure that nobody is unjustly punished.
“You are economic engineers, how quickly justice is dispensed with, will definitely lead to several developments.
“A lot is expected from the judiciary arm of government”.
He stressed the importance of the judiciary, noting that its role among the three arms of government cannot be over-emphasised. .
Fashola stated that the socio-economic problems confronting Nigeria had placed many challenges on the doorstep of the Nigerian judges.
“Our country is at great crossroads, facing enormous challenges that put to test our self governance and democracy,” he said.
According to him, law regulates the society, especially when the country is faced with issues of national security and economic development.
“Man makes law to cater for national security, secure man and protect his property, so our success depends on the success of the judiciary.
“In Nigeria, road traffic also constitutes challenges to our socio-economic development. If there is a traffic problem, a worker will not be able to get to his work timely. If he stays unduly in traffic, it will affect his health,” the governor posited.
“We work with the lawmakers to create law for good governance, so we should do justice no matter what it takes,” he further said.
Also during his sermon at a church service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina as part of the activities lined up to herald the new legal year, the Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, Anglican communion, Most Reverend Adebola Ademowo decried the unpleasant developments in the country, saying that the nation is drifting on a downward slope.
“There is so much lawlessness in the country and this does not augur well,” he expressed.
According to the cleric, “Nigeria is deteriorating in standard, there is danger everywhere and there is nowhere that is safe in the country, and there is no respect for human lives again.”
Ademowo charged judicial officers in the state to dispense justice without fear or favour, adding that it is a big challenge, and that they should emulate God as legal practitioners in ensuring a just society.
Justice Ayotunde Philips, the chief judge of Lagos State after the services, inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force at the Lagos High Court Premises Igbosere, followed by reception of dignitaries including Mr. Ade Ipaye, the attorney general and commissioner of justice , Lagos state, retired and serving judges, senior advocates of Nigeria, magistrates and other stakeholders in the justice delivery system.
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