Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, yesterday threw his weight behind the call for the establishment of a Court of Appeal Division in the state.
He spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, during the commencement of the special sitting of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, holden at the High Court of Justice in Osogbo.
The two-week programme is meant to enable the appellate court to attend to the many pending cases before the Justices emanating from Osun State.
The governor said: “I cannot end this address without lending my voice to the request of the stakeholders that you should graciously consider the possibility of having a Court of Appeal (division) sited in Osun State.
“I want to assure you my Lords that our government would do everything possible to support this move.”
Before the governor spoke, leaders of the Bench and Bar in the state in separate speeches urged the visiting justices to assist in making a case for the establishment of a division of the court in Osun State.
With not less than 250 cases, Osun State has the higher number of cases on appeal before the Justices of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, which has appellate jurisdiction over Osun and Ondo States.
It was the first time the court, established 10 years ago, will move its sitting to Osun State to take justice closer to the people.
The Osun stakeholders, who called for the establishment of the Court of Appeal, include, Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Bola Adepele Ojo; Osun-based Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Yomi Aliu; members of the Osun State Chapters of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and representative of senior legal practitioners in the state, Mr.Vincent Abiodun Akinleye, among others.
Oyetola who described judiciary as a crucial arm of government, said the Court of Appeal remains a strong pillar of judicial and political expedition.
He received commendation for his support for the judicial arm of government since he came into office.
The governor said: “Enthroning democracy and the rule of law in our nation’s Fourth Republic has been particularly challenging in our peculiar environment where democratic institutions are weak and are struggling for identity and credibility.
“In this 20-year-old challenging democratic journey, the Judiciary has filled in the gap by providing the barometer for reaching the desired destination.
“At every turn, the Judiciary has lived up to its billing as the last hope of the common man. Indeed, the nation owes the gradual sanitization and stability of our democracy to the Judiciary.
“Your Lordships, your current assignment in Osun State is in furtherance of the Judiciary’s role as the arbiter and protector of the rule of law.
“The Judiciary has played this role with vigour and unblemished integrity. It has demonstrated to the people that it remains the filtering agent when unscrupulous elements muddle up our judicial waters.
“The Court of Appeal has established a reputation for itself as the home of landmark judgments in the nation.
“In furtherance of your resolve to build sustainable democracy and a just and peaceful nation, I urge Your Lordships to continue to uphold the tenets that have endeared you to the people as an institution of nobility, integrity and trust”, Oyetola said.