By Oluwatope Lawanson
Lagos – Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday pledged to ensure successful implementation of the judicial reform initiated by the state’s new Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance at the special prayer service for the state’s 2019/2020 Legal Year at the Central Mosque in Lagos Island.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that the reform was imperative because of the critical role played by the judiciary in the protection of rights of citizens irrespective of status and stature.
“We would, therefore, work with the judiciary to provide solutions to effective, efficient and impartial justice delivery in Lagos State.
“I have approved the completion of the magistrate courts in Ajah, which would be handed over to the Lagos State Judiciary in few months from now,” he said
Sanwo-Olu said he hoped that the judiciary would continue to be a beacon of hope for all in the centre of excellence.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Prof. T.G.O. Gbadamosi, the Baba Adini of Lagos Central Mosque, represented by Alabi Macfoy, lauded the state judiciary for leading in the administration of justice in Africa.
Gbadamosi said the ongoing reform in the state judiciary was timely since the prison service had been converted to correctional facility.
He urged the judiciary to increase its prison visits and also review the cases of those awaiting trial, adding that some could be given lesser punishment instead of being sentenced long time in prison.
Also speaking, Justice Alogba said he had met with correctional services on how to de-congest prisons in the state and promised to pursue community sentencing and restorative justice.
He admonished judges and magistrates not to drift from the part of righteousness, stressing that they should deliver judgment with the fear of God.
He also advised lawyers to present their cases with the fear of God, reminding them that it was what they presented that the judges used to determine their cases.
“Temptation will come but if you hold on to God you will surmount all temptations,” he said.
The guest lecturers, Dr Marufudeen Shittu and Imam Babatunde Alfa-Nla, admonished judges and magistrates to research and pray for Allah’s wisdom when giving judgment.
Speaking on the topic: “Concept of Justice in Islam”, Alfa-Nla said there was so much injustice in the world, adding that Allah commanded judges to be just and fair in their dealings with others.