Fayemi Promises Not to Muzzle Ekiti Judiciary

Dr Kayode Fayemi

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday inaugurated Obafemi Fasanki as a Judge of the state High Court, as he restated the commitment of his administration to strengthen the judiciary and promote rule of law in the state.

Fayemi, while performing the ceremony at the Conference Hall in Governor’s office in Ado Ekiti, said his vision for the independence of the judiciary remained sacrosanct, adding that the three arms of government are crucial to the effectiveness of the rule of law in the state.

He explained that the good governance agenda of his administration has the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights and unhindered access to justice embedded in it.

Speaking on law reform in the state, Fayemi explained that his administration in 2019 administered the Civil Justice Law, Ekiti State Property Protection (Anti Land Grabbing) Law, and Prohibition of Gender-based Violence in response to the people’s desire for efficiency in the justice system and to boost the growth and development of the state economy.

According to the governor, “Since we came on board in this second term, we have continued from where we signed off in 2014 with renewed vigour and determination to achieve sustainable reforms in our justice sector. In the area of law reform, we have enacted laws in response to our people’s desire for speed and efficiency in the justice system.

“The Administration of Civil Justice Law 2019 is a novel law that will achieve these twin goals in the delivery of civil justice. Aside from law and justice, this legislation has enabled us to show our local and international investors that Ekiti State is truly open for business. It is our expectation that year will witness the implementation of this law.

“Another law that is crucial to our economic growth is the Ekiti State Property Protection (Anti-land Grabbing) Law 2019. We enacted this law in response to increasing concerns of unwholesome practices in the sale of landed properties in the state, specifically as it relates to land. We simply must respond to the emerging culture of criminality in the sale of land.

“We also enacted law to back out policy on zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women with a comprehensive prohibition of gender-based violence. The law harmonises existing laws on the subject matter into single plain language legislation that enables subject matter appreciation, while at the same time clarifying appropriate sanctions for sex offenders. We will be monitoring the effectiveness of these legislations this year.”

The governor who further advocated for the representation of Ekiti

State in superior courts, said the state had eminently qualified persons on the Bench and in the private Bar to represent the state in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Describing the appointment of the new Judge as thorough and competitive, Fayemi charged the newly inducted Judge to share the vision of his administration in providing a fair and equal access to justice regardless of gender, ethnic origin, economic status and other social attributes.

He urged the judge to adhere strictly to the tenets of integrity and impartiality to strengthen justice delivery in the state.

He also commended Justice Cornelius Akintayo who would be retiring from the Bench in few weeks’ time for his contribution to the development of the justice sector in the state.

Earlier the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, welcomed the new Judge to the Bench with a call on him to see his service to humanity as service to God.

Also, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, explained that the process that led to the selection of the Judge was extensively deliberated by the state Judiciary Service Commission and the National Judiciary Service Commission, which found Obafemi worthy of the appointment.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ado Ekiti chapter, Samuel Falade, described Fayemi as bar-friendly governor with optimism that more Judges would be appointed before the expiration of the governor’s tenure.