The Acting Chief Judge of the Lagos State Judiciary, Justice Opeyemi Oke on Monday revealed that Lagos State judicial officers would soon be mandated to sign oath of secrecy.
She also warned members of the bar from requesting for unnecessary adjournments, adding that any lawyer caught in such practice would risk losing their practice license.
Justice Oke who said this at the new legal year service held at the Anglican Church of Nigeria in Lagos, warned members of the judiciary that it would no longer be business as usual.
The Acting CJ further stated that all supporting staff of judges would henceforth swear the oath of allegiance and secrecy.
“It would no longer be business as usual because it is a new dawn for the judiciary. All members of the judiciary would from now be accountable for their actions and attitude.
“We the Lagos State Judiciary are ready to work and we appeal to members of the bar to help us. We say no to unnecessary adjournments. This practice is not accept in Europe. We need to build a judiciary of our dreams,” she said.
While stating her vision for the judiciary, the CJ said, ” the vision of this administration is to create a truly independent and empowered branch of government by providing a fair and responsive system of justice committed to excellence.
“We would uphold the rule of law in interpreting laws; stamp out all forms of official corruption; make a speedy dispensation of justice.
” Our mission is to work towards a judiciary that epitomizes discipline, honesty, hardwork and integrity.
“I am also using this opportunity to appeal to the members of the bar because we cannot achieve this alone.
” we need you in order to stop corruption, laziness and tardiness because we want to work.
” We are not going to allow unnecessary adjournments because there are certain things members of the bar do in here that they won’t dare do in Europe or America.
“Unnecessary adjournments will cost you your practicing license. Lagos state judiciary is a role model not only in Nigeria but in Africa and the world at large.
” we have sworn an oath and we have members who have not sworn to anything. We want to let them know that every member must swear to that oath and stand by it.
Also speaking at the event the Governor of Lagis State, Akinwunmi Ambode praised the Lagos State Judiciary for continuously maintaining a high standard.
“The Lagis State Judiciary has earned an enviable status for its great integrity. The volume of cases has necessitated the appointment of additional judges.
“We should always remember that the judiciary remains the last hope of all citizens. The success of the judiciary lies in our interdepence. This administration has made foundation for good governance,” Ambode added.
The Most Reverend Dr. Adebola Ademowo, the Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, called on members of the judiciary to put God first.
“The appointment of judges is traceable to God himself. God appointed judges like Deborah and Ehud to rule over the affairs of Israel.
“I charge our judges to administer Justice without fear or favouritism. Your primary duty is to discover the truth. You are adjudicators, umpires, and even interpreters of the law and a lot of people are looking up to you.
“As legal luminaries it is your duty to do your work without minding whose ox is gored,” the Reverend said.
Rev. Ademowo also called for a critical and spiritual cleansing in Nigeria, while also calling for urgent prison decongestion and promptly attending to the numerous awaiting trial inmates scattered around prisons across the country.
Speaking at a Muslim service to also mark the new legal year, founder of Jarmaatu Ahli Lali Islamic Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdullahi Gbade Akinbode in his lecture titled “Justice in the kingdom of Allah”, admonished judges to always seek the guidance of Allah in dispensing justice.
Sheikh Akinbode noted that judges must be concious of Allah who is the final judge before whom they will also give account.
“As you commence the new legal year, since you have accepted to Ambassadors of justice, you must be careful of what you do. When you want to judge, know that there is a grandfinalle judge and that is Allah.
” Before you pass any judgment, pray always to Allah to grant you the wisdom to see the truth, identify the truth and uphold the truth. You should pray to see falsehood and to quash falsehood.
Sheikh Akinbode further said the judges are representative of Allah and as such should be morally upright.
“You are representatives of Allah in the temple of justice. You must be morally imbued and morally balanced. You must stand clear of immorality. You cannot be a judge unless you are morally upright.
” Your conduct must be excellent because when people see you outside, they want to learn from and emulate you.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the State Missioner Ansar-un-deen Society of Nigeria, Imam Z.A Thanni also admonished judges to always do the right thing when dispensing justice.
Thanni noted that judges who fail to do the right thing will end up in darkness on the day of judgment.