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Governor Kayode Fayemi's Speech at the swearing-in ceremony of Ekiti State Chief Judge.

Governor Kayode Fayemi's Speech at the swearing-in ceremony of Ekiti State Chief Judge.

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  • 1. AN ADDRESS BY THE EKITI STATE GOVERNOR, DR. KAYODE FAYEMI AT THE SWERING IN CEREMONY OF THE NEW CHIEF JUDGE OF THE STATE JUDICIARY HELD IN ADO-EKITI ON MONDAY, 4TH JUNE 2012PROTOCOLSI am happy to welcome you all to this occasion of the swearing in of thenew Chief Judge of the State.As you may be aware, the State Judiciary has been left without asubstantive head for the past six years. This, no doubt, is an albatross thatthe State cannot afford to continue to bear. This event therefore is tobreak the inglorious leadership jinx the judiciary has been subjected to andmake the institution take its rightful place.I am confident to state that the judicial arm of government would now beable to respond to its statutory responsibilities more aggressively andsatisfy the common man who constantly look up to it as the bastion of thepeople. This is more so because of the commendable personality of Hon.Justice A. S. Daramola who is a thoroughly sound legal mind. The State isindeed lucky to have him at this time. www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng
  • 2. This gathering marks the conclusion of the long process of addressing theleadership gap of this all important arm of government. I like to thank theNational Judicial Commission for giving its nod to the choice of Hon. JusticeDaramola and the concurrence of the State House of Assembly inconfirming the appointment. The key interest of this administration in it allis to have an independent judiciary which can stand tall in character,credibility and credentials at all times. These ingredients must be available,in the minimum, in the course of quality and fair administration of justice.Good enough, Hon Daramola has all these in good measures.My Lords, my administration recognizes that our people want a JusticeSystem that works in the interests of Justice. They rightly expect a systemof justice that gives every person fair and equal access to Justice andguarantees the dignity, rights and security of every person and of allcommunities regardless of gender, money or any other difference. It is forthis reason that my administration has prioritised the justice sector.The ‘Ekiti State Justice Agenda’ published by this administration specificallyrecognises the important role of the judiciary in achieving good governancein Ekiti State. For avoidance of doubt we firmly believe that an independentand effective Judiciary is vital to our quest for good governance andeconomic development. The Judiciary reinforces checks and balancesbetween the other arms of government and by so doing, ensures www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng
  • 3. constitutionalism. Also by arbitrating on disputes in our society andupholding the rule of law and limitation of governmental power, theJudiciary contributes to social order that is a foundation for social andeconomic development.The first challenge that we need to collectively face is how to make ourcourts accessible to our people. Our legal system has been severallydescribed as intimidating. This is largely because it uses: Highly technicalprocesses, difficult and unfamiliar legal terminology. This means that manyof our people can seldom participate meaningfully in the legal process. Animmediate challenge therefore is how to simplify court language andprocedures so that people understand what is happening, and canparticipate more meaningfully in the process.The second challenge is the issue of delays in the delivery of justice. It istrite knowledge that one of the challenges faced by our courts is that of asignificant backlog of undecided cases. This is more so with respect tocriminal matters. The resultant effect is that many of the inmates in ourprisons continue to spend an unreasonable period of time in prison waitingfor their day in court. In fact, according to the figures released recently bythe Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), out of50,601 in mates in the various prisons, 36,934 are awaiting trial. This,simply said, means that 72% of inmates in the prisons are awaiting trial.Painfully also in Ekiti State, out of the 268 inmates in Ekiti State Prison, www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng
  • 4. there are 200 Awaiting Trial Detainees. I have been advised that thereasons for delays are complex and all aspects of the criminal justicesystem contribute to this state of affair. I am also advised that this is notsolely an Ekiti State problem but one of national dimension. I amconcerned about the situation in Ekiti State. The fact that the federalgovernment and other states are yet to find a sustainable solution to theproblem of remand persons should challenge us to lead the way. On ourpart we have inaugurated the administration of justice sector reformcommittee with a clear mandate to provide experts advise on achievingefficiency in all parts of the justice sector in Ekiti State. It is my hope thatthe judiciary in Ekiti State will provide the necessary leadership towardsachieving efficiency in the criminal justice sector.The third challenge is the issue of access to justice. My Lords may agreethat access to justice is one of the fundamental freedoms of the individual.In practice, however, social, economic and cultural limitations andinequality repudiate equal access to justice by all our people. The effort ofmy administration to support the justice sector is undertaken in the contextof many economic and human development challenges facing Ekiti State.In addition to pursuing increased support for the justice sector,government policy and public funds must target many other developmentchallenges such as education, housing, health care, social security.Progress towards each of these many goals is necessary for fuller economic www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng
  • 5. and human development of our state. Consequently funds allocated to theJustice Sector will predictably remain inadequate to meet the nature of theintervention that is required.The task of decongesting the prison should be jointly undertaken with theJudiciary taking the lead for the common good of the system. I hope thatthe simple event of today would have a spiraling effect on a big clean up inour judicial institution to satisfy our corporate yearnings.This situation invokes a number of challenges prominent among which ishow we ensure that our people particularly the vulnerable are not leftbehind. On our part we have proposed the establishment of the Ekiti StateJustice Centre to bring together governmental and non-governmentalresources and personnel. While this initiative will go a long way towardsachieving our goal it goes without saying that the active support of theEkiti State Judiciary will be required to achieve sustainability andeffectiveness.My Lords, let me quickly add that my administration is not unmindful of theneeds of the judiciary in Ekiti State. Appropriate funding of capital projectsincluding physical structure of many of our courts, development of humanresources especially as it relates to the continuous learning of judicialofficers and all persons who work within the judiciary, the generalimprovement in the conditions of service of judicial officers remain keypriority of my administration. It is also necessary to state here that I am www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng
  • 6. committed to my earlier pledge to commence work on the new High CourtComplex in the State. Equally, we are committed to effect theestablishment of the Customary Court of Appeal this year.This administration also appreciates the indispensability of an independentjudiciary to good governance, good neighbourliness and the protection ofthe helpless. I have personal experiences on how it feels for one to havejustice having traversed the route severally with the recent judicial victorythat made this administration possible as the most dramatic and epochal. Itis no exaggeration to see it as a classic study in the sacredness of the trulyindependent judicial system. It also speaks eloquently to the virtues ofjudicial integrity and boldness which is expected of any judicial officerprivileged to serve on the bench. We are committed to promoting this levelof excellence always in Ekiti State. And I will stand up all days to see thisestablished in our State.I solicit the support of all to bring our multi-faceted reforms of theapparatuses of governance to bear in the overall interest of our people. Icharge you, my lord Chief Judge to hit the ground running immediately tobring the judiciary on the fast track in the quick dispensation of justice.After all justice delayed is justice denied.In order to further enhance the status of our judges and make them morecomfortable in the discharge of their onerous responsibilities, let me nowuse this occasion to formally present new Prado jeeps to all our High Court www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng
  • 7. judges in fulfilment of my earlier promise to them.It is now my honour and privilege to inaugurate the new Chief Judge ofEkiti State to the glory of God and the cause of fair administration ofjustice in the State. I wish you a successful tenure and I pray that, duringyour tenure, the Ekiti State Judiciary will become a reference model forbest practices in Nigeria and globally.Thank you and God bless. www.slideshare.net/EkitiState www.ekitistate.gov.ng