By Kenneth Ehigiator & Oamen Areguamen
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State Wednesday defended former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigiâ€™s swearing-in of his successor, Justice Alloysius Katsina-Alu, in the absence of President UmaruYarâ€™Adua, saying his action saved the nationâ€™s judiciary from collapse.
He also assured Lagosians that the state government was on top of the situation on the outbreak of the H1N1 otherwise called swine flu, which had been diagnosed in at least 52 persons in the state, with one death.
Fashola, who spoke in an interview at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, shortly on arrival from the valedictory session for Justice Idris Kutigi in Abuja, said Justice Kutigi displayed rare courage in swearing-in his successor, noting that he could have chosen to stay put in office and, thereby creates crisis in the system.
He said: â€œKutigiâ€™s illustrious judicial career had been appropriately documented by judicial correspondence and judicial historians. But I think what I want to take away is for us to sit back and reflect what if this man, Justice Kutigi, had behaved like some of us have behaved in the past.
â€œWhat if, at that time we were unsure of what will happen, he said may be they should elongate his own tenure too.Â What if he said we are going away, you solve your problem. He stood behind, gave us a new Chief Justice.
â€œI think we must all salute his courage; we must salute his character,â€ he said.
On the outbreak of the H1N1 flu in Lagos, Fashola said the state government was on top of the situation, and urged Lagosians to remain calm.
He asked residents of the state to abide by the instructions given by the Commissioner for Health on how to avoid contracting the disease.