By Abdulwahab Abdulah
The new Lagos State Chief Judge,(CJ) Justice Inumidun Akande has said the state judiciary under her tenure will have zero tolerance for corruption, indolence and negligence. Justice Akande also in an interview at the ceremony for the 2009/10 new legal year,Â promised to embark on massive reforms in the state judiciary, especially at the Magistracy level to guarantee equity and fair play in the dispensation of justice system in the state.
The legal year service was also observed at the Lagos Central Mosque, where the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) was ably represented by Lagos State Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN). The presiding Imam, Alhaji Mohammed Garuba,Â in his sermon charged the judges to be fair in their handling of cases involving the citizens. He urged them to always seek for Godâ€™s guidance in the discharge of their duties.
The Lagos CJ, who performed her first official duty at the ceremony commemorating the new legal year, said she expects the state judiciary to be more focused in this new legal year on all the plans and projects that is on ground. According to her, there is plan on ground to build additional court rooms to de-congest the existing courts in order to speed up the dispensation of justice in the state.
â€œThere are so many projects, some completed, some uncompleted. So, I intend to do my best to make sure that these projects are completed in moving the judiciary forward.Â For instance, we need to restructure the magistracy and the eradication of corruption. We hope that with the cooperation of the executive and the legislature, we will be able to make laws to eradicate these short-comingsâ€, she said.
She stated, â€œamong other things, we need to restructure the Magistracy, and the issue of eradication of corruption. We have complaints mostly in the process of filing process at the litigation sections. We hope that with the cooperation and support of the other two arms of government, we will able to make laws assisting us to eradicate those shortcomings.â€
On policies to de-congest the prisons, the Chief Judge, said, â€œthere are some offences that did not demand that the suspect or defendants be remanded in prison or even convicted, sentenced to prison. There are powers given to the Magistrates not to give tough conditions which will not enable the defendants to meet the bail conditions. When bail is granted, it has to match the offence committed.â€
While expressing her appreciation on behalf of her brother judges and the entire staff of Lagos State judiciary to Lagos State Governor, the executive council members and the entire people of Lagos for their continued support to the state judiciary, the CJ called for continued cooperation between the other arms of government to further take the state judiciary to a greater height.
Justice Kazeem Alogba, who spoke on behalf of other brother Judges at the service at the central mosque called for the support of the Lagos state government and Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). He also said that it is only Allah that is the judge but they were His deputy and promised that they will be fair, firm and fearless in their duty.