By Ademola Orunbon
The Ogun state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has promised to digitalized the judiciary sector of government for the effective and efficiency of service delivery and to also ease the cumbersome tasks of the Judges, thereby to significantly improve on the administration of course of justice.
He made this known at the 2019/2020 Legal Year, to mark the commencement of another year for the members of Bar and Bench, held at Cathedral of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, the state capital.
He emphasised that the maintenance of law and order, stressing that administration of justice were inextricably tied together.
He noted that since the both were key requirements for assuring the health of the body polity and for the attainment of the good society, he would everything humanly possible to uphold the rule of justice and its development.
“We will all recall that at the inauguration of our administration on 29th May, 2019, I made a solemn promise to the entire people of the state, that we will be fair, just, equitable, inclusive and we will always obey the rule of law”, Abiodun said.
He maintained that he was irrevocably committed to providing a just, free and egalitarian society which guarantees a continued development of the state, and a more abundant life for the people and for those who have made the state their home irrespective of gender, geographic location, economic stratification, political and religious affiliation.
“I have been a beneficiary of the judicial system, and coming to public service and as a governor. I see my service as a calling to uphold the cause of justice and continued development of the state, in particular and humanity in general.
“Let me use this opportunity to reaffirm my promise to the entire people of the state that, you will always find in me conduct of ” Omoluabi” expected of “Omo Teacher”, I will govern with character, diligently and sincerely”, Abiodun vowed.
In her speech, the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu urged the members of the Bar and Bench to forget the past year with its attendant mistakes, failures and even success, but to embrace this new Legal Year with hope, aspiration, new vision, zeal, positive outlook and resolve to succeed more this year than the past years.
She said that legal profession had benefited from Ogun state indigenes who had served at the Bar and the Bench nationally and internationally, noting that the state to its credit, had produced two Chief Justice of Nigeria in the persons of Hon. Justice Adetokunbo Ademola the first indigenous Chief Justice of Nigeria and Hon. Justice George Sodeinde Sowemimo.
She added that Award Ceremony was incorporated into this year ‘Legal Year’ too, so as to encourage and appreciate the members of staff that have distinguished themselves in different categories and to also motivate others.
The Bishop of Egba West, Rt. Rev. Samuel Oludele Ogundeji admonished the legal luminaries not be partial, biased, favourable and one sided in their dispensation of justice, noting that they were the last hope of the masses and they should not hesitate to deliver judgement in accordance to the rule of law and fear of God.
He said the role of Judges could not be overemphasized as the people are looking up to the for justice and equity, saying that they needs to deliver their judgement without fear or favour and also the evidence being provided before them to be genuine ones.
He also said that the Judges and Magistrates were in positions of authority and issuing search and warrant of arrests to the police, advising the to be cautious, free and fair in issuing such warrants as they entrust weapons of mighty over them, “and everybody will be answerable to his/her deeds before God Almighty”.
The Legal Year was witnessed with Award Ceremonies, on Magistrate of the Year, Integrity Award, Most Distinguished Registrar of the Year, Clerical Officer of the Year, Confidential Secretary of the Year, Gardener Officer of the Year, Utility Officer of the Year, Driver of the Year, Most Outstanding President of the Year, Bailiff of the Year and Best Dressed Officer of the Year.
Among Obas and government functionaries that grace the occasion, includes; The Paramount Ruler and Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Adedotun Gbadebo, The Paramount Ruler and Awujale Of Ijebu-Land, ably represented by Dagunrewe of Idowa, Oba Yunusa Adekoya and The Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Adewale Ajayi; The Secretary to the state government, Mr. Olatokunbo Talabi, Chief of Staff, Mr. Salis Shuaib among other dignitaries.