By Priscilla Ediare, Teen-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has sworn in 36-year-old lawyer Ms Blessing Ajileye and three others – Mr Apuabi Ariyibi, Mr Olalekan Olatawura and Ms Oyinkansola Oluboyede as judges of the State High Court to the State Executive House, Office of the Governor, Ado Ekiti.
The Governor revealed that implementation of the Judicial Financial Management Act will begin this month to strengthen the financial autonomy of the justice sector in the state.
Fayemi also announced that the National Judicial Council (NJC) has approved the establishment of a customary appellate court in the state to improve access to justice, especially at the local level when the court becomes fully operational. .
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Dr Fayemi said he was delighted that the Judicial Service Commission had addressed his concern about the upliftment of young lawyers and the need to address gender disparity. which characterizes the composition of the judges of the High Court of State.
The governor said he was not happy with Ekiti’s absence from the Supreme Court despite contributions from Ekiti State’s networks – legal luminaries born in the development of the justice sector in the country . He added that his agitation for the appointment of young lawyers as judges would allow Ekiti to aspire to the bench of the country’s Supreme Court.
Dr Fayemi said: “Your Lordships will recall that an issue I have consistently raised in every interaction with justice sector stakeholders in this state is the need for the State Judicial Service Commission to undertake a holistic review of entry requirements to the judiciary, including the need to consider diversity in appointments.
“My suggestion to consider appointing younger individuals is simply based on what I imagine to be our collective desire to build on the valuable legacy of Justices Ogundare, Olatawura and Adekeye to the Supreme Court.
“It is simply inexplicable that despite all the contributions of these eminent legal figures to the growth and development of law and practice in Nigeria, we are not presently present on the bench of the Supreme Court. It is for these reasons that today’s occasion gives me immense pleasure. I am particularly pleased that the Judicial Services Commission has responded positively to these concerns.
Governor Fayemi reiterated his commitment to prioritizing the welfare of judges in the state and revealed that he had ordered the payment of one month’s back pay to courtworkers from the salary owed by the court. previous administration with a promise to intensify efforts to settle other outstanding arrears.
Further, the Governor instructed the newly appointed judges to firmly hold the judicial oath and endeavor to bring justice to all manner of people in accordance with the laws of Ekiti State and Nigeria.
He commended the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Wale Fapohunda (SAN) and his team for playing a vital role in repositioning the justice sector in the state.
Responding on behalf of the newly appointed judges, Justice Apuabi Ariyibi commended Governor Fayemi for endorsing their recommendation as judges of the State High Court with the promise to remain true to the oath that guides their practice as judges.
The event was observed by Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; President, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Honorable Funminiyi Afuye; Chief Justice of Ekiti State, Justice Oyewole Adeyeye; Members of the State Executive Council; Ekiti State High Court Judges; officials of the Judicial Service Commission; among others.