Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has assured that his administration will continue to improve on the achievements in the judicial sector and ensure that Judges, Magistrates and the Courts in the state work in the best condition possible.
The Governor who spoke at the 2015/2016 Legal Year Dinner held at the Nigeria Law School, Victoria Island, reiterated the important role the judiciary plays as the last hope of the common man, stressing that the reforms carried out by the previous administration will be sustained.
He said the Lagos State Judiciary has been the pioneer of judicial sector reforms in the country, from 1999, when Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
He said his predecessor in office, Mr. Babatunde Fashola also followed suit by initiating and implementing far reaching reforms which went a long way to improve the justice delivery system.
He alluded to the fact that a recent World Bank ranking of countries on the basis of ease of doing business rated Nigeria low, noting that one of the parameters considered was the ease with which disputes arising from business transactions are resolved.
Governor Ambode said that the report was an indication that the nation’s desire to build a globally competitive economy that will attract foreign investors cannot be achieved without a vibrant judiciary.
Responding to an appeal made by the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Funmilayo Atilade in her welcome address, Governor Ambode promised to address the issues raised accordingly.
He also used the occasion to assure that his administration will continue to work towards the common goal of improving the living conditions of the people of Lagos while also protecting their rights and dignity.
Earlier, Justice Atilade expressed concerns that the Lagos State Judiciary is still financially subservient to the Ministry of Justice, saying it was most undesirable as it clearly negates relevant laws and Constitutional provisions.
She appealed to Governor Ambode to assist in effecting the return of Judiciary Capital Vote as required by Law and in the spirit of Separation of Powers as applied to the other arms of government.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of awards to Governor Ambode for his contributions towards uplifting the course of the State Judiciary.