By James Ogunnaike
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun on Monday called on the judiciary to maintain the dual roles of ensuring political stability and being the last hope of the common man.
The governor, who spoke at the church service, held at the Cathedral of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, to usher in the year 2023/2024 Legal Year, urged the judiciary to continue on the glorious path of serving the people.
Abiodun also urged the judiciary to continue to ensure that all three organs of government work independently, but collectively within the tenets and principles of separation of powers for the overall good of the people.
Abiodun said that his administration would continue to provide the needed support for the judiciary in appreciation of their life of sacrifice.
He added that his administration would continue to uphold the rule of law and all the fundamental principles of democracy.
“Because the judiciary remains the balancing scale between the executive and legislative arm of government in every democratic setting, and also serves as the sanctuary of the common man, I want to implore you, my lordships to continue to play your dual role of ensuring political stability and being the last hope of the common man.
“As a matter of duty, you must continue on that glorious path and ensure that all three organs of government work independently, but collectively within the tenets and principles of the separation of power for the overall good of our people.
“You have a very tough job; a tough job to do in dispensing justice without fear or favour. You aren’t able to socialize and you are sentenced to reclusion. You can’t engage in any commercial business; you spend all your time listening to cases attentively and writing judgements.
“Even though your reward is in heaven, we will continue to provide the needed support in appreciation of your life of sacrifice and to motivate you,” he said.
The governor said his government would continue to appreciate the importance of a strong and functional judicial system and administration in the successful implementation of the developmental agenda of the state.
The administration, the governor added, has taken giant steps to digitalize the legal system towards the efficient dispensation of justice in the state through the deployment of the Case Management and Scheduling System, Justice Clock to monitor time spent by the public prosecution department in attending to criminal matters, Custody Monetary Dash Board, Ogun Public Interest Law Partnership (OPILP), among others.
He added: “In other to widen the net of those who can access legal services, we launched the Ogun Public Interest Law Partnership (OPILP). This is a collaboration between the public and private sector to provide free legal services to indigent residents of Ogun State and having observed that the criminal justice system often disfavoured the disadvantaged, the Police Duties Solicitors Schemes, the PDSS was launched to attach volunteer duty solicitor to virtually all police stations within the state to monitor the condition of detainees as well as the length of time of detention, this systems have checked many accesses and provided relief to several detainees.”
In his sermon titled; “Wisdom of God in the administration of Justice in Nigeria,” the Bishop of Egba Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt. Revd. Emmanuel Adekunle said it is imperative for judges and those who administer justice to be filled with the spirit of God to be able to judge without fear or favour.
Taking his text from 1Kings 3:24-28 and 2 Kings 6:24 to Chapter 7, the cleric condemned the “get rich quick” attitude of the people, especially the youth, noting that their involvement in cultism, ritual killing, kidnapping and fraud, and other vices, has done the country more damage.
While emphasising the need for political leaders and administrators of justice to turn to God to heal the land, the cleric said Nigerians are going through a lot of hardship hence the need for leaders to do things that would bring succour to the people.
Rt. Revd. Adekunle spoke on the need for proper monitoring of road projects across the country, as those saddled with the responsibility of constructing the roads are doing shoddy jobs.
The State Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, read the only Bible passage taken from John 15 vs. 1-15.
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