By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has declared the 2016/2017 new legal year open, urging the judiciary to come up with innovative reforms so as to enable the profession to continue to retain its pride of place in Nigeria.
Mr Ambode, speaking on Monday at a church service to commemorate the beginning of the Legal Year, held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, pointed out that the synergy of the Executive and the Judiciary was pivotal to the success of any administration, just as he restated his administration’s commitment to enthrone the rule of law and protect the less privileged.
The Governor, while acknowledging that the task of delivering justice to the citizenry was tough, however, expressed optimism that the judicial arm of government represented by the Lagos State Judiciary remains the only and the last hope of the citizenry in the State.
He thanked the Judiciary for the support given to his administration in the last 16 months, urging them continue to discharge their duties without fear or favour to ensure peace continues to reign in the State.
“Our administration is determined to enthrone the rule of law and protect the less privileged in our society. And that is why we paid so much emphasis on the rule of law and judicial sector reforms and we strongly believe we can do this together.
“I want to singularly thank the Chief Judge. I also want to say that over the last 16 months that we’ve been in this administration, we’ve received tremendous support from the judiciary and she’s been singularly supportive and have also seen that last second to last sentence in the second stanza of the Nigeria national anthem that says Peace and Justice should reign in this nation and there have been all sense of justice in the State.
“We are gathered here again today, just the same way we came last year to seek his protection and guidance I just want to urge all of you in the judicial sector that we should discharge our duties with the fear of God,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier at the occasion, Provost of the Cathedral, Rev Akinyemi Johnson, commended Mr Ambode for finding time to attend the event, while also alluding to the strides that the State has recorded since the Governor assumed office.
“We thank God for what we are currently experiencing in Lagos and the landmark achievements that the State has recorded and we are praying that many more beneficial and transforming landmarks would be recorded as the year succeeds another year,” Rev Johnson said.
He also said that by the virtue of their profession, judges are fulfilling divine mandate and as such they must dispense justice without fear or favour.