Justice Phillips bows out as Lagos CJ, sister takes over

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Lagos CJ, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips(right) and sister, Justice Funmi Atilade
Lagos CJ, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips(right) and sister, Justice Funmi Atilade
The Lagos state government yesterday showered encomiums on the retiring Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayotunde Philips as she made history handing over to her younger sister Justice Funmilayo Atilade who are both daughters of a for­mer judge, the late Justice James Williams.

At a well-attended pro­gramme held at Adeyemi Bero Hall of the state Secretariat, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) formally swore Justice Atilade as the 15th chief judge of Lagos State.

She took over her elder sister, Justice Philips.

Philips, who sworn in on June 14, 2012, bowed out on July 26 after attaining the statutory retirement age of 65.

Justice Atilade, who was sworn in yesterday, is the fifth female chief judge of the state, according to the gover­nor.

According to report from Daily Sun, speaking on the occasion, Fashola urged the new chief judge to follow the footsteps of her elder sister and adhere strictly to the rule of law in the of her duties. The governor commended the retired Justice Philips for keeping to her promises by reforming the state judiciary during her two years tenure, saying: [eap_ad_2] “She leaves behind a truly reformed judiciary; she leaves behind electronical filing of cases in Lagos judi­ciary; she leaves behind her sister.”

He urged the new chief judge to work hard, say­ing there is more work for her to do as the chief judge.

While presenting the chief judge-designate for the oath of office, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said Justice Atilade was strongly recommended by the National Judicial Coun­cil (NJC) and ‘found wor­thy and confirmed’ by the state of Assembly.

In her acceptance speech, Ati­lade described herself as ‘a child of destiny’, saying her elevation to the apex of the state judiciary was ordained by God as she never saw her­self as a direct successor to her sister when she took up appointment in the state judi­ciary because there were six other judges, including Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, of the Supreme Court, between her and her predecessor.

“I am a child of destiny; I am a child of the judiciary. This is the day the Lord has made, I would rejoice in it,” she said.Justice Atilade promised to make decongestion of the courts, of staff, speedy dispensation of criminal cases, financial au­tonomy of the judiciary and effective use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as some of her top priorities. [eap_ad_3]