By OLASUNKANMI AKONI, MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO & IKENNA ASOMBA
LAGOS — Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, announced the indefinite suspension of the conferment of honorary award on any person by authorities of Lagos State University, LASU, saying the award had been desecrated in recent times.
Fashola said he had ordered LASU Governing Council to suspend the conferment of honorary award as part of measure towards improving the standard of the institution and restoring the value of honorary award by ensuring that only deserving persons were bestowed same.
The governor, who announced this at the 17th convocation of the institution, said the award had been abused as many now wait for the award before contributing to the development of the society.
Fashola, who did not hide his disdain over indiscriminate award of honours on undeserving people, noted that previous honorary degrees conferred by institutions across the country from different disciplines had not reflected in adding values to the society.
He added that in the country today, Nigerians now desire to receive title and honour before impacting on the society.
He said: “What is the basis for honour? Do we have electricity, can we refine our own petroleum products?”
He added that if the country had not been able to achieve all these, why were the institutions in the country honouring people with degrees.
“And, because we are determined to keep the honours of this great institution, we had decided to raise the bar. Our university (LASU) ceased to lead this society to a higher degree of excellence by challenging our people to do more for the improvement of the country,” he added.
…swears in new Chief Judge
By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH & MICHAEL OLADEPO
IKEJA— Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, swore in Justice Ayotunde Phillips as the new Chief Judge of the state, urging her to ensure fair and rapid administration of justice in the state.
Meanwhile, the Chief Judge, Justice Philips, has promised to end bickering between the Bar and the Bench to enhance the level of judiciary in the state.
Fashola noted that the appointment of the new CJ came at a time the government renewed its commitment to ensuring rule of law in the state.
He said: “This is a proud moment in the Lagos judiciary that leads the third and critical arm of the state. From 1999 till date, the story of the Lagos judiciary under a democratic dispensation has been a story of success after success, it’s been a story characterised by ground-breaking reforms and revolutionary initiatives that had redefined the judiciary, championed by visionary chief judges, who had defined the Nigerian landscape.
“I believe that I speak the minds of our citizens, when I say we expect prompt and fair dispensation of justice during your tenure, they will expect innovations and more reforms, as well as a competitive judiciary, I believe I also speak their minds, to say that during your tenure, the judiciary will not only be their last hope, it will be their real hope.”
Justice Philips, in her response, commended her predecessor for the work she did to push the judiciary forward and promised, “to do my best to build on the achievements of the past, so that the High Court of Lagos State will once again be the revered institution that it was under the late Justice Idowu Taylor.”
Noting that she was not unmindful of the challenges litigants face in getting the judiciary to adjudicate on their cases, Justice Philips reiterated her determination to remove the challenges through the implementation of a total computerisation programme, the upgrading and equipping of libraries and improved welfare for staff.
She noted that some of the challenges facing the judiciary were behavioural and attitudinal, not only from staff of the judiciary, but also from the Bar and the public at large.
She promised to give priority to decongestion of prisons through the use of non-custodian sentences for certain offences.