By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has expressed confidence, that in no distant future, Nigeria will be proud of a judiciary with integrity.
The Governor raised the optimism while fielding questions from Journalists, during the 2017/2018 Legal Year of the Ondo State Judiciary, held at St David’s Anglican Cathedral, Ijomu, Akure.
The Governor who said the country has a judiciary with leaders that will deliver on the desires of the people, said he has confidence and is proud of the development in the judiciary.
Akeredolu during the church service, read the first lesson from the book of Deutronomy 16: 18-20 to declare the legal year open.
In his sermon titled “Wanted in the Judiciary: Men and Women of High Integrity”, Bishop of Ido-Ani Diocese, Rt Rev Ezekiel Dahunsi cautioned Legal practitioners in the country against every appearance of corruption for a better society.
The cleric decried roles played by some lawyers handling fraud cases where most of their clients usually sought permission to travel out for medical reasons. He pleaded with government to always appoint people devoid of questionable character in the nation’s judiciary leadership.
“People of integrity, not purchasable, those who are not bribe takers must be appointed to occupy the posts of Judges so that the lost glory of the judiciary can be fully restored”, he appealed.
The Cleric who warned against judicial irresponsibilities, noted that the glory of the sector has departed, saying all must strive to ensure that it is completely restored.
He further stressed that God is interested in the way justice is being dispensed in all communities, hence the need for them to exhibit the fear of God in all their undertakings.
Dahunsi appealed to the Governor to support the judiciary with adequate funding, provide good accommodation and ensure that they are well enumerated, a move, he said, would prevent them from being tempted with bribe.
In the same vein, the Cleric admonished the Acting Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu, to ensure that every fund released to the sector, is judiciously spent for the enhancement of the judicial sector.
Describing judiciary as the last hope of common men, Dahunsi enjoined the members of the bench and bar to be just and steer clear of whatever that could soil their reputation.
Dignitaries at the church service included: the Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi; Deputy Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ogundeji Iroju; Secretary to the State Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde; Head of Service, Barr Oluwatoyin Akinkuotu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale; Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Adekola Olawoye and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa.
Others were Commissioner for Commerce, Industries & Cooperatives, Otunba Timilehin Adelegbe, Commissioner for Information & Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi; Commissioner for Natural Resources, Hon Rasheed Badmus; Commissioner for Agriculture, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati; Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Deaconess Lola Fagbemi and Commissioner for Lands & Housing, Mr Donald Ojogo.
Also at the service were; Special Adviser on Rural & Community Development, Rt. Hon. Victor Olabimtan; Special Adviser on Union Matters, Mr Alaba Isijola; Special Adviser on Education, Dr. Olawunmi Ilawole; Special Adviser on Public Utilities, Engineer Tunji Ariyomo and the immediate past Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.
Other personalities who graced the ceremony were: Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju; Controller of Prisons, Ondo State Command, SD Kinane and the Ondo State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Defence Corps, Commandant Pedro Awili Ideba.
Traditional rulers who were in attendance included: the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi; the Ogbolu of Itaogbolu, Oba Idowu Faborode; the Ojumoluda of Ijebu Owo, Oba Kofoworola Ojomo and the Oloba of Usoland, Oba Ademola Oyinlade.