Atilade makes history, succeeds sibling as acting Lagos Chief Judge

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By Abdulwahab Abdulah

LAGOS—Justice Funmilayo Atilade of the Lagos High Court will tomorrow assumes office as the acting Chief Judge of the Lagos State judiciary, following the retirement of her elder sister, Justice Ayotunde Philips from the bench of the state judiciary as chief Judge.

They are both daughters of late Hon. Justice James Williams, who was a judge in Lagos State and late Mrs. Henrietta Williams
This is the first time in history of the state judiciary siblings took over mantle of leadership as Chief Judge of the State High Court.

Justice Philips, who attained the mandatory age of 65 years on Saturday bowed out of the Bench after about two and half years in office as the Chief Judge.
Her retirement was marked with church service at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, GRA, Ikeja on Saturday, which was followed by a social gathering also used to celebrate her birthday.

Though, the judiciary workers are still on strike, Justice Atilade, 62, will take the baton from her elder sister officially Wednesday to oversee the affairs of the judiciary pending her official swearing-in as the substantive Chief Judge.

Informed sources in the Lagos Judiciary disclosed that the new Chief Judge would be sworn in formerly in the next few weeks, giving her the opportunity of leading the state judiciary to mark the new legal year 2014 which commences Monday, September 2, 2014 as her first official assignment and outing.

Vanguard gathered that the  in-coming chief judge would appear before the State Assembly for screening as required by the law within the next few days while all handing over processes were completed last week by the former Chief Judge.

Atilade became the 15th Chief Judge of Lagos State and the fifth female to occupy the number one office of the state judiciary.
Her female predecessors in office include Justice Rosaline Omotosho, who occupied the office between 1995 and 1996.

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