Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has appointed his Deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olalekan Alli, Chief Imam of Ibadan, Sheik Abduganiyu Abubakar and 236 others as Justices of the Peace.
The appointees were inaugurated by the governor, who was represented by his deputy, at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan, on Thursday.
Among those sworn in as JPs were the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Gbade Ojo; Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka; Special Adviser, Due Process, Mrs. Rose Oyedele, as well as other top officials of the government.
Also on the list were the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Mr. Benjamin Akanmu; a former Director of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Prof. Dele Layiwola, among other eminent members of the society.
In his speech read by the deputy governor, Ajimobi said that the new appointees were carefully selected, based on their pedigree, to assist the government in the dispensation of justice and sustenance of peace and harmony across the state.
A retired high court judge, Justice Akintunde Boade, administered the oath of office on the deputy governor, who in turn swore in all others on the JP list.
The governor implored the JPs to use their new position to promote peace and deliver justice in their jurisdictions without fear or favour, as well as to suppress riots and affray, disperse all disorderly and tumultuous assemblage.
Ajimobi said, “As we all know that justice is the bedrock of democracy, our administration will leave no stone unturned to see that justice is not only done, but seen to be manifestly done at all times. The JPs are to complement the efforts of the judiciary to promote peace and harmony in the state.
“Towards this end, an enabling environment is being made available for the judiciary to discharge its duties without fear of favour.
“Apart from the recent appointment of some magistrates and senior magistrates to the lower bench of the state judiciary, Grade `A’ Customary Court presidents were also established for the first time in the state.
“Let it also be known that appointment of more judges to the state High Court and the Customary Court of Appeal is ongoing and the matter is now before the National Judicial Council.’’
The governor explained that the JPs were judicial officers, who were vested with the powers, rights and duties of a magistrate, while he emphasized that their appointment would not attract remunerations.
Ajimobi urged them to see their appointment as a great responsibility towards the promotion of peace, rule of law and good governance in their communities.
In his remarks, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Seun Abimbola, said that the JPs were volunteers who took up the appointment in order to be associated with the reign of peace in the community.
Abimbola stated they were ambassadors of peace at the grassroots and were expected to familiarize themselves with their immediate neighbourhood to settle rifts, foster unity and help resolve conflicts using their competences.