By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Monsur Olowoopejo
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and Senator Gbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East Senatorial District yesterday, said Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the running mate to the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2015 election, was the sole person that improved the not too good judicial system left by the military in 1999 in Nigeria, especially in Lagos.
The duo made the remarks at the swearing in ceremony of the three new appointed High Court Judges in Alausa, Ikeja, which also had in attendance the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, Ex-Governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Mr. Fola Adeola, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Mr. Supo Shasore and others.
They noted that during his tenure as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state between 1999 and 2007, the transformation in the judicial system commenced with free legal services in Lagos.
The governor said “Professor Osinbajo has had the tremendous contribution in the state judiciary today, building the Lagos judiciary. As the Attorney General of Lagos State, he started the vision of building an efficient and incorruptible judiciary.”
He noted that the legacy left by the Don has helped his predecessors,
Ashafa said that Nigerians now have the opportunity to make a positive change and allow men of unblemished records (General Buhari and Prof. Osibajo) to lead them.
Ashafa said:”The combination of these men is the real change that everyone had clamoured for. Without any iota of doubt, these men will rescue Nigerians and Nigerians should be ready to embrace a brighter rewarding future.”
Explaining how Osinbajo transformed the judicial system in Lagos, Mr. Ade Ipaye, the present Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said “During his tenure, the idea of bringing justice to the people became entrenched, particularly with the establishment of an Office of the Public Defender and a Citizens Mediation Centre.
“Both agencies have since benefited millions of Nigerians directly or indirectly by way of free legal services, free representation in court and free mediation services.
“Judges’ welfare and the elimination of corruption in the judiciary was also a focus of his attention. Both the Magistracy and High Court Bench benefitted from a review of their working conditions and practices and the high rating of the Lagos State Judiciary in terms of integrity and efficiency today, is due in no small measure to his contributions.
“At the same time, rules of court were given the most comprehensive review with far reaching changes in both the civil and criminal aspects,” Ipaye added.