BY Richard Olatunde
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, CON, has sworn-in Hon. Justice Ayedun Olusegun Odusola as the 12th Chief Judge of the State.
Hon. Justice Odusola had served as the Acting Chief Judge of the State until his recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC) and subsequent appointment by the Governor and approval by the State House of Assembly.
The Governor also swore-in Hon. Justice Bolatito Florence Ajibade; Hon. Justice Bankole Jacob Akinwunmi; Hon. Justice Leonard Boyede Ologun and Hon. Justice Femi Sylvester Akinbinnu as new High Court Judges in the State.
Governor Akeredolu equally inaugurated Pastor Omofunmile Adejombo; Mrs. Omolola Akinseloyin and Mr Stanley Adeniyan as members of the State Judicial Service Commission (JSC)
Their inauguration was performed at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
The Governor described the appointment of the Chief Judge and other Judges as the greatest honour a society can confer on any citizen.
He said their appointment was not only a mark of recognition with regard to competence in the administration and practice of law, but also confirmed their fitness in terms of character.
Arakunrin Akeredolu reiterated his Administration’s promise to support the judiciary .
“Amidst the challenges faced by us, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 which impacted negatively on the finances of the State, we have continued to discharge our duties with utmost care and focus”, he said.
The Governor disclosed that he had just approved the immediate commencement of work on the construction of a new Ultra-Modern Court Complex.
According to the Governor, the proposed architectural masterpiece is designed to have all the facilities of a modern Court Complex which include 21 Court Halls, a modern Ceremonial Hall, Library, among others.
He said the Complex, when completed, will rank as one of the iconic court buildings in the country.
“With the support of the Almighty, we are determined to leave this building as an abiding legacy to the State”, he stressed.
Governor Akeredolu charged the Chief Judge and the four new Judges to be above board, stressing that anyone aspiring to the post of a judicial officer must be a fit and proper person.
His words:”Anyone aspiring to the post of a judicial officer must be a fit and proper person. He must be held to the highest standard of conduct, both professionally and in private life.
“Anyone who passes the screening at various stages successfully must be adjudged qualified. Consequently, the society expects the best of performance from such a person as he will be wielding immense power over them.
“In interpreting the law, he makes and unmakes. He possesses the power of life and death while applying the law. No serious country jokes with the welfare of the judiciary.
“I have had the rare privilege of swearing-in four Chief Judges and 10 judges since I mounted the saddle of leadership as the Governor of Ondo State. This is the 5th Oath taking ceremony undertaken by our Administration since inception.
“I have worked with some of these eminent personalities and have nothing other than high commendation for their exemplary dispositions. I, therefore, enjoin the new judicial officers to meet the expectations of quintessential service to the people.”
The Governor also warned friends and family members of the new judicial officers to desist from mounting pressures capable of distracting them.
Similarly, the Ondo State Governor congratulated the new members of the Judicial Service Commission.
“I must not fail to remind them of their special assignment to the people of the State. They scout for, screen and recommend suitable applicants who become judges.
“In addition, they attend to the welfare of judicial officers. Lucky indeed is a person who enjoys the trust of the people of the State to perform such important duties. The expectations of the people are very high. It is my hope that the new members will meet them”, he said.
The Governor called on lawyers, the Court Registry and the good people of Ondo State to co-operate with the new Chief Judge and his brother judges for optimum dispensation of justice.
In his acceptance speech, the new Chief Judge, thanked the Governor for accepting the recommendation of the NJC and appointing him as the Chief Judge and four others as Judges of the State High Court.
He vowed to sustain the existing relationship among the arms of Government and enhance the same during his tenure as the Chief Judge.
The event was attended by the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun; other members of the Assembly led by the majority Leader, Hon. Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi; Members of the State Executive Council, led by the Secretary to the State Government; Royal Fathers led by the Chairman of the Council of Obas and Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi; Judges from Osun, Oyo and Ekiti; Lawyers; among other dignitaries.
The Chief Judge and the four new judges were handed brand new vehicles as their official cars immediately after the event.
Richard Olatunde is Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
Below are the pictures