News

Date: 27/06/2019

Lagos Judiciary Holds Special Valedictory Court Session.

Lagos State Judiciary yesterday held a special Valedictory Court Session for the former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Opeyemi Oke.

The event which attracted stakeholders in the judiciary held at The Foyer, Lagos High Court, Igbosere and had in attendance Judges and Magistrates, legal practitioners including former Attorney General of the State, Adeniji Kazeem, the first lady silk, Chief (Mrs) Folake Solanke (SAN),first female Life Bencher, Mrs Hairat Balogun while the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) was represented by Mr Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN).

They all eulogised the former chief judge as ‘a jurist of positive change and first class reformer of administration of criminal justice administration’.

The acting Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba described Justice Oke as advocate of a positive change in the administration of justice.

Justice Alogba who read the citation of his predecessor described her as an achiever and a jurist with distinctive leadership qualities emphasizing that Justice Oke cherishes her oath of office and integrity.

Ayanlaja said those who appeared before Justice Oke would attest to the fact that “she was a judge per excellence”.

According to him, described the former Chief Judge of the state as one who had a hard stance for integrity adding that she had an infectious mannerisms which he said he retained till date.

“Justice Oke took to the bench as an analogue judge but retired as a digital judge; came in as a Christian but retired as a redeemed Christian; came in as a judge but left as a chief judge; came in as a mother but left as a grand-mother”, he stated.

Mrs Balogun said that as soon as she was appointed Chief Judge, that Oke carried out wide ranging reforms in the state judiciary more than her predecessors and for which she would continue to be remembered for.

She listed some of the reforms initiated by Justice Oke and urged the acting Chief Judge and staff of the state judiciary to be courageous in sustaining her legacies.

Chief Solanke remarked that despite her short tenure which was less than two years, Justice Oke recorded “very impressive performance”adding that that was why she made it a point of duty to come to Lagos to honour her yesterday at the special court session.

Solanke reeled out the achievements of the former Chief Judge and urged staff of the state judiciary to emulate her, particularly her anti-corruption fight.

The chairman of Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Bayo Akinlade, who spoke on behalf of the five branches of NBA in Lagos state, said Justice Oke was ”bold and courageous” particularly on how she confronted corruption in the judiciary frontally.

”I am particularly impressed with the Mission Statement and Commitment Statement” she introduced which he noted gave a new direction to services of the judiciary in the state.

Justice Oke, in her response, thanked the judges,magistrates and staff of the judiciary for their love and support for all the reforms initiated and making her tenure a success.

“I want to appeal to you to continue in your support of our policies which are all geared towards delivering speedy and efficient justice to the good people of Lagos State who we serve”, she said.
Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
28/06/2019




Date: 13/06/2019

Gov Sanwoolu Swears in New Acting Chief Judge.

Lagos State Governor Mr.Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the Executive will work with the State judiciary and the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to prison congestion, saying that the issue has become be a major challenge to the State's justice system.

Governor Sanwo-Olu stated thison Thursday after swearing in the new acting Chief Judge of Lagos State,Honourable Justice Kazeem Alogba.

According to the Governor,"the current situation where over 70 percent of inmates in our prisons constitute awaiting trials is not acceptable as it is not a reflection of an efficient justice delivery system. We will also not hesitate to do whatever is required to sustain the ongoing reform in the judicial sector so the desired result of ensuring that the wheel of justice rolls as fast as it could, will be achieved."

The Governor further stated that his administration will embark on the review of the State's judiciary,noting that the three arms of government must form a synergy for the development of the State. He also promised to continue with judicial reforms in the State.

‘‘We are all partners in progress. We must continue to work together to deliver the good for the teeming Lagos populace. This is what governance is all about.'' Sanwo-Olu said.

While congratulating the new acting Chief Judge, Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed confidence in his capacity to continue on the path of progress that has been created in the State judiciary since the beginning of the fourth republic.

''I have absolute confidence in your ability and capacity to sustain and improve on the enviable reputation which the Lagos State Judiciary has built for itself over the years,particularly since 1999 under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.During the tenure of that administration, a solid foundation was laid through the introduction and implementation of critical reforms and initiatives that are aimed at building a judicial system that is efficient, reliable and courageous to uphold the fundamental principles and ideals of equity, fairness, natural justice and the rule of law.''

In his vote of assurance,Justice Alogba, who thanked the Governor for the honour, promised to exercise the powers of his office conscientiously for the good of the common man and the furtherance of the administration of justice in Lagos State.

The new Acting Chief Judges uggested that traffic and environmental offenders should henceforth serve their sentences at the point where the offenses are committed. He said no one likes to wear a toga of an ex-convict so community service or some other forms of punishment should be handed to offenders at the point of contravention.

Justice Alogba also promised speedy and effective dispensation of justice, zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt tendencies, rigorous, adequate and continuous training of judicial staff as well as improvement on the use of ICT for the delivery of justice.

“We will pursue the use of information communication technology and dwell on staff welfare. We pledge our support for the new administration.’’ Alogba said.


Ololade Ige:/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
13/06/2019




Date: 11/06/2019

Appointment of Honourable Justice Kazeem O. Alogba as the acting Chief Judge of Lagos State.

Honourable Justice Kazeem O. Alogba has been appointed as the acting Chief Judge of Lagos State

In accordance with Section 271 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), His Excellency Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu,Governor of Lagos State has appointed Honourable Justice Kazeem O. Alogba as the 17th Chief Judge of Lagos State with effect from Tuesday 11th June 2019, in acting capacity, pending the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and subsequent confirmation of the State House of Assembly.

 

The appointment of the new Acting Chief Judge is consequent upon the need to prevent a vacuum in the State Judiciary, given the imminent retirement of the present Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke, who is set to disengage statutorily from the State Judiciary from today Monday 10 June 2019. Accordingly, the newly appointed Acting Chief Judge will be sworn-in on Thursday 13th June 2019 in the Governor’s Office, Lagos House, Alausa Ikeja at 10.00 a.m.

 

Prior to his appointment Justice Kazeem Alogba was the most senior of the 58 Honourable Justices in the State Judiciary next to the out-going Chief Judge, and had chaired the Committee on the review of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, which culminated in the new High Court of Lagos(Civil Procedure) Rules of 2019 that came into force on 31 January 2019.

 

The new Acting Chief Judge is hereby wished a most impactful tenure of Office.

 

 


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
11/06/2019




Date: 06/06/2019

Launchimg of Handbook for Court Registrar.

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, on Thursday, launched a handbook for the court registrars to ensure an effective service in the state.

The CJ, who launched the handbook at a pull-out ceremony,noted that the handbook would guide the court registrars appointed from amongst legal practitioners in their daily duties and ensure that they render effective service.

According to Justice Oke, the appointment of legal practitioners as registrars was to improve service in the judiciary system.

She said, “The handbook developed by Justice Josephine Oyefeso led committee is to guide the court registrars appointed from amongst legal practitioners in their daily duties and ensure that they give effective service to litigants and the people of Lagos State. The appointment of legal practitioners was a novel in the nation’s judiciary and that it was done to improve service in the judiciary.

“The court registrars would work as head of the judges’ chamber and function effectively to improve operations of the court and plans are on hand to also appoint more legal practitioners as court registrars in the magistrate courts.”

The pull-out ceremony which was held for the CJ as part o fthe activities to mark her retirement on June 10, 2019, had the high court judges, magistrates and other stakeholders in attendance.


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
07/06/2019




Date: 04/06/2019

Lagos State Chief Judge Pays Valedictory Visit to Gov. Sanwo-Olu.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed the readiness of his administration to partner the State Judiciary for the delivery of qualitative governance to the people of the State.

Sanwo-Olu made this known on Monday when the State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke paid a valedictory visit to his office in preparation of the latter’s retirement from the State Judiciary.

The Governor also promised to partner with the Judiciary being the 3rd arm of government in order to enshrine the culture of good governance and quick dispensation of justice to every resident of the State.

While responding to some earlier requests made by the outgoing Chief Judge of the State, Sanwo-Olu promised to give due consideration to the needs of the judiciary so that the other arms of the government can function effectively.

Earlier, Justice Oke who is the16th Honourable Chief Judge of Lagos State thanked the State Government, the Executive and Legislative arms for their support to serve as the 6th female Chief Judge, and Chairman of the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission.

She attributed the feats recorded during her tenure and the many novel accomplishments which were first of many kinds in the history of the State’s Judiciary and the country at large to the collaborative efforts with both arms of government, saying that the collaborative efforts have continued to yield positive and enviable results.

Justice Oke rolled out the achievements of the state Judiciary under her tenure to include the creation of two new divisions of the high court, renovation of courts and prison decongestion among others.

She also added that her tenure ensured the installation of solar panels at Yaba and Ebutte-Metta magistrate court, renovated of courts,launched the new high court of Lagos State (civil procedure) Rules 2019 among several laudable achievements.

While congratulating Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the new Governor of the commercial nerve center of West Africa, Justice Oke prayed that the State will soar high to greater heights in every ramification during his tenure in office.

The Chief Judge appealed to the administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu to speed up the completion of the Badore court house Ajah, the building of commercial court in Tapa Lagos Island, the building of more courthouses.

The Chief Judge said that as the curtains draw on her tenureas the State Chief Judge to pave way for another successor, “I am hopeful that greater feats shall be recorded on the account of the Judiciary to the admiration of other Judiciaries in the country and even on the international platform.”


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
05/06/2019




Date: 23/05/2019

Lagos CJ Pledges State Judiciary’s Support for the Blinds, Orphans.

Lagos State Chief Judge,Honorable Justice Opeyemi Oke has pledged the continued support of the State Judiciary to the inmates of the Bethesda Home for the Blind (BHB), Idi-Oro, Mushin and orphans and abandoned children at Optimal Children Home(Orphanages), Isheri, Magodo, Lagos.

Justice Oke made the promise when she visited the two homes yesterday to lend the support of the Lagos State Judiciary and made donations to them along with Judges and Heads of Department of the judiciary.

The Chief Judge told the blind and management of Bethesda Home that the state judiciary would continue to support them in all their activities.

“Lagos State Judiciary will never forget you. Anywhere I go after my tenure, I will continue to remind my successors on the need to continue to assist you because I want you to be happy every time” she assured.

She assured them of more visit to the home by the in-coming Chief Judges of the state.

Justice Oke who expressed happiness about the academic excellence of the blind students and their determination to succeed in life, also assured those who are yet to pay their admission fees into different universities of the support of the judiciary for payment of such fees.

While commending them for not allowing their challenges to draw them, he admonished them to be dedicated to their studies.

“As long as you are dedicated to your studies, help will always come your way”, she said.

The Chief Judge also commended one of the inmates, Mustapha Yusuf, a final year student of Philosophy at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, for his talent in Gospel Music and composing different tracks to soothe every challenge and positive situation confronting them.

Responding to questions from journalists, Justice Oke remarked that her visits to the two homes were significant as it was part of her programmes towards her bowing out of office.

“We need to sow seeds into many lives, particularly the less privileged. We shouldn’t leave everything to the government. I am fulfilled that despite their challenges, they still have the heart to thank God for His mercies.

Earlier in a welcome address,Miss Philomena Cyprian, a 300-level student of Guidance and Counseling at the University of Ibadan, disclosed 86 inmates of the Bethesda Home are in various universities across the country studying different courses.

She said 21 of the students will be graduating this year from the universities with degrees while 25 others wrote this year’s Joint Admission and Matriculation Examination (JAMB).

 

“Your attitude to the less privileged is not something we can sweep aside. Your life is worthy of emulation and has removed all the disorders in our hearts. Our joy is beyond measure”, Philomena remarked in appreciation of all the support promised them by Justice Oke.

At Optimal Children Home, Isheri, Magodo, the founder, Mrs Lola Ayo-Adedeji, disclosed that the centre has 26children in its care, out of which 22 are presently in schools.

She said two orphans of the home,presently reside abroad.

She said the children were abandoned by their parents and picked from refuse dump, on the streets adding that the visit by the Chief Judge and donation of different electrical appliances has encouraged her to want to do more.


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
24/05/2019




Date: 21/05/2019

Lagos State Chief Judge Pays Farewell Visit to Oba Akiolu.

The Lagos State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke has commended the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu for his tremendous support since she assumed the mantle of leadership of the State Judiciary in particular and to the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in general.

Justice Oke who made this known on Tuesday during a farewell visit to the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu stated that the feats recorded under the present administration in the State could not have materialised without the collaborative efforts of the Oba and the very firm support members of the Judiciary have enjoyed from him.

She added; "Very guardedly we have been running with our vision. By the grace of God, your concerted effort towards a stronger and greater Judiciary and our steadfastness, laudable achievements have been recorded to the advancement of the Lagos State Judiciary".

Justice Oke rolled out the achievements of the state Judiciary under the administration of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to include Renovation of courts, prison decongestion, digitalization of the probate registries amongst others.

She also added that her tenure ensured the installation and Commissioning of the vision, mission and commitment signposts of the Lagos State Judiciary across all the Court premises in Lagos State, Creation of two new divisions of the High Court on as well as the Creation of Small Claims Courts in the Magistracy among several other laudable interventions.

The Chief Judge said that as the curtains draw on her tenure as the State Chief Judge to pave way for another successor, “I am hopeful that greater feats shall be recorded on the account of the Judiciary to the admiration of other Judiciaries in the country and even on the international platform.”


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
22/05/2019




Date: 15/05/2019

Lagos CJ Launches Practice Direction Handbook in Five Indigenous Languages .

The Lagos State Judiciary has launched the Small Claims Court practice direction and handbook translations in five local languages, which were Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Egun and Pidgin English.

The Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke described the development as the first in the country and a great feat to have an enabling law translated into different indigenous languages. 

Honourable Justice Oke emphasized that the effort would further improve the performance recorded so far in terms of number of cases filed, duration between filing and delivery of judgment since litigants would more likely understand the process and become more confident to represent themselves.

She remarked that the court has fulfilled its objective of providing easy access to an informal, inexpensive and speedy resolution of simple debt recovery disputes in the magistrates’ courts of claims not exceeding five million naira as provided for under Article 1 of the Practice Direction. 

On her part, the Chairman of the Committee on Small Claims Court,Honourable Justice Yetunde Adesanya said with the new development, more litigants are expected to bring their commercial cases to the court.

She also expressed confidence that with more litigants bringing their commercial cases to Small Claims Court, it would assist to decongest the dockets of High Court Judges. 

The Small Claims Court which was established on April Last year has delivered 530 judgments out of 850 cases filed by litigants in seven magisterial districts of the state and had received Presidential and World Bank awards on the Practice of the Ease of Doing Business owing to the success of the court.


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
15/05/2019




Date: 08/05/2019

Lagos Chief Judge Commissions Training Institute for Judiciary Workers .

A training arm of the Lagos State Judiciary that will beresponsible for the promotion of innovation and effectiveness in servicesrendered to Lagosians has been commissioned by the Lagos State Chief Judge,Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke.

The Institute, Lagos State Judicial Establishment Institutewas established pursuant to the Lagos State Judicial Institute Law 2007 toserve as the principal focal point of judicial activities relating to thepromotion of efficiency, uniformity, and improvement in the quality of judicialservices in the superior and inferior courts in Lagos State.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Institute on Tuesday atIkeja, the Chief Judge said that the Institute, among other functions, isexpected to provide continuing education for all categories of JudicialOfficers by organizing, workshops and other programmes related to judicialeducation.

She said; “the mission of this Institute is to promoteexcellence through training, competency, and professionalism in the Lagos StateJudiciary. It is expected that the Institute will have a far-reaching impact onthe quality of our human capital and productivity quotient.”

Honourable Justice Oke also added that the Lagos StateJudicial Establishment Institute will in addition to the above functions, serveas a platform for updating judiciary staff on recent developments in law,contemporary issues around legal procedure and practice, administration andJudicial Ethics.

While saying that since the beginning of her tenure as theState’s Chief Judge, staff of the Judiciary had benefited from both local andinternational training, Justice Oke explained that the rationale behind thevarious training programmes were borne out of the conviction that training wasthe only way that judicial competency, standards, and professionalism can beachieved, maintained and sustained.

“Training is the only way that we can maintain and sustainour position as the foremost Judiciary in Africa.  It is one of the foremost ways to buildpublic trust and confidence in the Lagos State Judiciary. We are the firstJudiciary in the nation to formalize and set up its training arm,” the ChiefJudge reiterated.

Justice Oke expressed the hope that with the establishmentof the Institute, judicial officers are now expected to sharpen their skills,increase efficiency, innovation, and effectiveness for the benefit of, andservice to the good people of Lagos State

She, however, charged members of the Board of Governors thatwould be in charge of the management of the Institute to design programmes andtraining for various categories of staff to address and improve the capacityand overall effectiveness of the Lagos State Judiciary.


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
09/05/2019




Date: 06/05/2019

Lagos Launch Practice Directions for Administration of Criminal Justice & Restorative Justice .

Lagos State Judiciary has again recorded another first withthe launch of Practice Directions for Administration of Criminal Justice Law,ACJL and the Restorative Justice that will usher in a new era in the CriminalJustice administration in the State

The Chief Judge of the State, Honorable Justice Opeyemi Okewho launched these Practice Directions on Monday at the High Court of LagosState, Ikeja, said that the Practice Directions is expected to address themyriad of challenges ranging from ineffective or incomplete investigations,delays in criminal trials among others confronting criminal justiceadministration in the country.

She added that apart from addressing incompleteinvestigations, the newly launched Practice Directions would also realize thegoal of expedited trials, improvement in the case disposal rates and alsoculminate in the decongestion of prisons.

In her words, “these Practice Directions are being launchedtoday in keeping with my vision to ensure speedy resolution of our criminalcases and the entrenchment of restorative justice in the administration ofjustice in Lagos State to create more avenues for access to justice and a holisticapproach to criminal justice administration.”

Justice Oke recalled that Lagos State has been at thevanguard of Criminal Justice Reform when it passed the ACJL in 2007, amended itin 2011 before other States followed suit, adopted and improved upon it.

She listed some of the highlights of the ACJL PracticeDirection to include; Introductions of the Plea Bargain and Case ManagementProtocol to ensure that the Prosecution and Defense are properly preparedbefore trial opens, such that when trial opens, hearing would be concludedwithin 365 days.

The Chief Judge stated that once the Practice Directioncomes into operation on 3rd June 2019, minor offences will be diverted torelevant centres and Restorative Justice outcomes applied to ensure thatpersons who commit minor offences will no longer end up in jail but wouldinstead face non-custodial sentences including fines, restitution orders,community service orders and so on.


Ololade Ige:/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
07/05/2019




Date: 04/04/2019

Valedictory Session: Bench, Bar Eulogises Late Chief Judge, Justice Christopher Segun.

A torrent of tributes poured on the late former Chief Judgeof Lagos State, Justice Christopher Segun just as the present Chief Judge,Justice Opeyemi Oke described the deceased as a priceless jurist who broughtradical change to the state Judiciary.

Justice Oke said the late Chief Judge had a reputation forhard work and discipline.

According to the Chief Judge, the deceased in the course ofhis judicial career delivered several landmark judgements and decision ondifferent areas of law.

Contributing, Lagos state Attorney General and Commissionerfor Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, SAN, said the deceased was a man of inestimablevalue who will be missed by Nigerians for his contribution to the advancementof administration of justice in the state.

The Attorney General who pointed out that the deceaseddevoted his life to justice and equity urged the children to tow the path oftheir father.

Among those who eulogized him at the valedictory sessionheld in his honour at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere were Judges andMagistrates of the State, Body of Benchers, Body of Senior Advocates ofNigeria, and Nigerian Bar Association, NBA.


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
05/04/2019




Date: 29/03/2019

Lagos Chief Judge Inaugurates New Executive of Magistrates Association.

Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke on Thursdayinaugurated new executive committee of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria,Lagos State Chapter with a call on the executives to take the Lagos EstateJudiciary to the heights it desires.

The Chief Judge who is the patron of the national body ofthe association remarked that the magisterial bench has over the yearswitnessed an exodus of great men and women whom passed through the magisterialbench and rose to the pick of the legal profession.

She said that the role of magistrates in the delivery ofjustice which made them to be referred to as the hope of the common man mustnot be compromised, urging the executives of the association to live aboveboard as the third organ of government and as administrators of justice.

Justice Oke advised the new executives to continue todisplay the hallmarks of professionalism, effectiveness and efficiency in linewith the Vision, Mission and Commitment Statement of the Lagos State Judiciary.

Exhibiting these hallmarks, according to the Chief Judgewill show the Lagos State Judiciary as one that epitomizes in every sense ofthe word discipline, dignity, honour, zeal for results and excellence.

She expressed confidence in the new exco led by itsChairman, Chief Magistrate Adejumoke B. Olagbegi-Adelabu, whom she described asone of the most hard-working Magistrates in the Lagos State Judiciary and one whoseintegrity is not in doubt.

"During last year, Her Honour Chief MagistrateOlagbegi-Adelabu was part of the team of Magistrates that contributed in nosmall way to the overall success of the Lagos State Judiciary, by effectivelyand efficiently performing their duties.

"The crop of Magistrates who are taking the oath ofoffice today as Chairman and members of the executive committee of theMagistrates Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch, are indeed worthy to beemulated," the Chief Judge affirmed.

Justice Oke was hopeful that all the gainsrecorded in the past year would be sustained and improved upon in the currentlegal year and during the tenure of the new executives who will work with otherrelevant stakeholders to maintain and sustain the place of the Lagos StateJudiciary as the foremost judiciary not only in Nigeria but on the Africancontinent.


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
29/03/2019




Date: 29/03/2019

Lagos State Judiciary Rebrand Probate Registry..

As part of efforts to rebrand the judiciary in Lagos Stateto be of international standard, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice OpeyemiOke has upgraded the probate registry to automated electronic structure.

Speaking at the launch in High Court, Igbosere,  Lagos Island, Justice Oke said with the useof modern technology at the probate registry, all forms of human error andcorruption which department was becoming known for would be reduced to thebarest while service delivery would be more effective. 

She explained that previous administration had attempted toreposition the registry with minimal success, but this development would makesubmission of probate application easy since it would be done online with electronicpayment.

The Chief Judge emphasised that electronic probate systemwould get rid of bureaucratic challenges that would lead to a drastic reductionin the problem of revenue leakage. 

In a remark, the Chief Registrar, Mrs Taiwo Olatokun saidthe innovation would be of great help to customers of the registry in gettingrequired services at a short time.

Mrs Taiwo Olatokun pointed out that her members of staff hadbeen trained to give a warm and friendly support to customers as may berequired from time to time.


Ololade Ige:/Adekunbi Bakare
Public Affairs Officers
29/03/2019




Date: 27/03/2019

Lagos Judiciary Trains Magistrates on Application of Restorative Justice.

The Lagos State Judiciary on Wednesday 27th of March 2019,began a two day training for magistrates on the application of the system. Thistook place at the Multidoor Court House Igbosere High Court Lagos.

Declaring the training open, Chief Judge of Lagos State,Justice Opeyemi Oke said the training was necessary to equip magistrates withnecessary knowledge and skills  on how toapply the system in their various courts.

Justice Oke stated that the decision to adopt restorativejustice approach into the state judiciary was based on the need to ensure thatoffenders are not just punished but also reintegrated and restored back intosociety. “We are changing the narrative in Lagos State by the introduction ofRestorative Justice at the Magistrates Courts level. This will ensure thatrestorative justice outcomes are applied to many minor offences.

"Today in Nigeria, we have seen countless cases where defendants are arrested for minoroffences – burglary, wandering, two fighting and so on. They are locked up inour prisons for the flimsiest reasons and join the teeming population awaitingtrial.

" In fact the Awaiting trial inmates account for morethan 75% of the inmates in our prisons today. They are in our prisons withhardened criminals and by the time they come out they have been initiated intoa life of crime and are ready to spread terror, death and destruction in theirpost-prison escapades.

"This training is being held in keeping with my visionto ensure the entrenchment of restorative justice in the administration ofjustice in Lagos State to create more avenues for access to justice and aholistic approach to criminal justice administration.

She urged the magistrates to ensure that they used thetraining to equip themselves with requisite knowledge and skills needed to ensure efficient and effectiveapplication of the new system

"You, your Honours, will be the mediators, which is thereason for putting together this training to enable you understand the basicprinciples of restorative justice,  itsworkings, what we hope to achieve and how it can help to decongest our prisons.

" The skills you will learn at this Training will be afoundation to your effective mediation in our Restorative Justice Centres. So Ienjoin you all to pay rapt attention and take all you can from this training.You are at the vanguard of this revolution in the Criminal Justice space ofLagos State. We must make it work and set an example for the whole country tofollow,” she said.

Justice Oke noted that the system would soon be officiallylaunched along with the establishment of restorative justice centres in theseven magisterial districts in the state. She said: “Lagos State Judiciary,under this administration, has decided to take the bull by the horn and startthis project and is set to roll out restorative justice centres in the seven(7) Magisterial districts of Lagos State. The Practice Direction on RestorativeJustice will also be launched after this training.”


Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
28/03/2019




Date: 05/03/2019

Lagos CJ Makes Case for Plea Bargaining.

Lagos State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke has said that there is a need for Nigeria to join developed countries that have embraced the culture of plea bargaining in their judicial system.

The Chief Judge who spoke on Monday at opening ceremony of Plea Bargaining training programme for Magistrates of the Lagos State Judiciary organised by the Rule of Law & Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (ROLAC), said that in the United States where it is deeply entrenched, the culture has greatly advanced the judicial sector of the country.

"In the United States where plea bargaining is deeply entrenched, the Columbia Law Review reports that about ninety percent of the criminal defendants convicted in State and Federal Courts plead guilty rather than exercise their right to stand trial before a Court or Jury," Justice Oke stated.

She said that though plea bargain system is gradually gaining ground in Nigeria, the system, since its inception has proven to be a useful tool in aiding criminal justice administration and has also curtailed undue delays in the dispensation of criminal justice.

According to her, a considerable number of high profile cases prosecuted by anti-graft agencies have been concluded using the plea bargaining tool which she said is a form of criminal justice package on its own.

The Honorable Chief Judge added that in Lagos State, the Administration of Criminal Justice Law has lent its hands in a push towards the adoption of the concept of plea bargaining as an accepted procedure in criminal proceedings.

In her words,"sections 76 and 77 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State has firmly entrenched Plea Bargaining into our Criminal Justice system. Plea Bargain saves precious judicial time and resources, reduces the trauma to the victim, helps with prison decongestion, case management for the courts and reduces the awaiting trial inmates in our prisons."

While thanking the ROLAC, for partnering with the Lagos State Judiciary to train the state magistrates and for the efforts of the organisation towards improving the administration of justice in Lagos State, the Chief Judge expressed the belief that the Magistrates will benefit immensely from the training considering the caliber of resource persons that would facilitate different sessions of the training.

Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Asst. Director/Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
05/03/2019




Date: 28/02/2019

Lagos CJ Hinges National Development on Investment in Younger Ones.

If Nigeria truly desires a brighter and better future, it is imperative that cursory attention is paid to building a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a productive role in the society, the Lagos State Chief Judge has said.

Speaking on Thursday 28th of February at the Annual General Meeting and the introduction of new State Scout Commissioner for Lagos State Scout Council, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke stated that before any tangible development can suffice; deliberate attention must be given to the development of the potentials in youth.

According to the Chief Judge, showing concern in the activities of men and women who have volunteered themselves as members of scout and other non-profit making organisations that are beneficial to the society is one of the numerous ways of contributing to national development.

She said, “For me, an important metric for measuring achievements for the wise is to be a key player in a place of service as the Scout Council, to my mind, this is more honourable’, Justice Oke added.

She congratulated those who have chosen to be part of the scout movement and encouraged them to continually have unity of purpose, as such is needed to truly make the impact that everyone desire to see.

While saying that the Lagos State Scout Council is more than a mere assembly of men, Justice Oke asserted that the scout council remains a movement that is committed to making significant contributions to the development of young people for the purpose of achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

She explained that the Annual General Meeting affords members of the scout council the platform to have a presentation and review of their scouting activities in the past year whilst also identifying areas that require enhancements.

She commended the last year’s Council’s election that brought about the emergence of Alhaji Olohuntoyin Oyeyemi Adebesin as the new State Scout Commissioner, stressing that it is highly remarkable that the entire exercise was peaceful and laudable.

“Let me at this juncture salute the immediate State Scout Commissioner, Chief Jonathan Oladapo Tawose, whom I am reliably informed had been elevated to an enviable position of an Assistant Chief Commissioner for South West comprising Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ondo States Scout Councils of the Scout Association of Nigeria,” Justice Oke informed.

The new State Commissioner for the Council, Alhaji Olohuntoyin Oyeyemi Adebesin pleaded with the Chief Judge not to renege in her efforts to continually support the activities of the Council.

“Your Lordship, let me use this medium to appeal to you specially that you should equally stretch your hands to me as you have done to my predecessor, a move which made him succeed in office during his tenure,” the Commissioner entreated the Chief Judge.

Ololade Ige/Adekunbi Bakare
Assistant Director, Public Affairs/Asst. Chief Pub
01/03/2019




Date: 05/02/2019

Lagos CJ Urges Individuals, Corporate Bodies to Partner with Judiciary on Bondsmen Scheme.

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke yesterday asked individuals and corporate bodies to partner with the Lagos State Judiciary on actualizing the bondsman scheme in order to make bail more accessible to defendants standing trial in courts.

She urged them to make necessary applications to join the scheme emphasizing that it has been proven in other jurisdictions that the professional bail bondsman brings important benefits to the society in which he works.

Honourable Justice Oke stated this in an address delivered at a “Stakeholders’ Summit on Actualizing the Law on the Bondsmen and Recovery of Recognizance in Lagos State”. The event also marked the inauguration of Practice Direction for the scheme.

She lamented that no individual or corporate body has applied to be licensed bondsman and Bonds Company more than eight years after the Bondsmen Regulation of 2011 came into force in line with Section 138 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).

She said the introduction of the bondmen into the criminal justice administration of the state was to make bail more accessible to anyone charged with a criminal offence and prevent touting by unlicensed persons and defendants from absconding from trials.

Justice Oke described the bondsmen scheme as very laudable pointing out that it would assist defendants to obtain bail and ensure such persons can be produced seamlessly when needed in court.

She expressed confidence that the bondsperson scheme will significantly reduce prison congestion and other problems associated with same, while also ensuring that recognizance can be recovered in full where persons on bail absconds. She explained that Section 138 (8) of the ACJL confers on the bondsperson the power of arrest should a defendant attempt to abscond.

She said: “Every Bondsperson shall have the powers to arrest any defendant or suspect who is absconding or who he believes is trying to evade or avoid appearances in Court: if he cannot bring the person arrested within 12 hours of the arrest before a Court, he shall hand the person arrested over to the Police who shall produce such person before the appropriate Court.

“In the United States, bail bondsmen play an important role in maintaining social control over bailed defendants. The bondsman and the defendant form a contract in which the bail bondsman agrees, for a fee, to act as the defendant’s surety. In addition to paying the fee, the defendant agrees to appear in court for all scheduled appearances”.

She said that a ten-man committee headed by Honourable Justice Grace Onyeabo was set up February, 27 last year with a mandate to find ways to actualise the recommendations of the Committee on Creation of Bondsmen and Recovery of Recognizance set up November 30, 2012.

In his lecture titled, “A Practical Approach to the Bondmen Procedure in the Justice System in Lagos State”, a bail bond expert, Dr. Seyi Adetayo remarked that bondsmen practice has not only helped defendants to access bail but also assisted low income group of the society to access justice.

Adetayo said the introduction of the bondsmen would eliminate the activities of fake and touts masquerading as professional bondsmen and other malpractices and generate employment to the people.

Earlier, Justice Onyeabo in a welcome remark described the bondsmen scheme as an innovation of Lagos State. She said the system would assist police to arrest defendants that have absconded and ensure effective criminal justice administration system in the state.

Ololade Ige
Assistant Director, Public Affairs
06/02/2019




Date: 28/01/2019

Justice Oke Warns Magistrates against External Interferences .

Lagos State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke has admonished the newly appointed Magistrates in the State Judiciary to disregard all forms of interferences in the discharge of their duties, warning that such intrusions could jeopardize true judicial processes.

The Chief Judge gave the charge today at the opening ceremony of the induction programme for the newly appointed magistrates at Lagos State Judiciary Training School GRA, Ikeja Lagos.

The programme according to her will equip the participants with relevant knowledge of being a precursor to the induction programme that will later be organised by the National Judicial Institute, Abuja for newly appointed Judges of the lower bench across the country.

“The induction programme is in satisfaction of the objectives and functions of the Institute as contained in the applicable provisions of the Lagos State Judicial Institute Law,” she added.

Speaking on the expectations of the legal profession from the magistrates, Justice Oke said that the magistrates are expected to be impartial arbiters in the temple of justice and should serve justice to all without fear, favour or being mindful of litigants’ social status or class.

In her words, “Judicial impartiality is a supreme judicial virtue that goes contemporaneously with judicial independence and these are some of the greatest attractions of the judiciary.”

She reminded the magistrates that the faithful performance of their duties is the bedrock on which peace, freedom, and order in any given society thrive, saying that when the society’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary is unshaken, then the rule of law blossoms.

Justice Oke used the occasion to advise the magistrates to be up-to-date with the law and judicial decisions of superior courts at all times.

“Your life is now one of reading and writing and just a few moments to relax within the confines of judicial ethics. The importance of judicial competence cannot be overemphasized so you should have yourselves properly equipped for the job. Ensure you invest in good law books and a comprehensive compendium of cases, whether virtual or physical.

“Maintain a good rapport with your colleagues, respect fort he individual is very key not just in the legal profession but very much also on the bench. If there are grey areas, please be humble enough to ask questions” she stated.


Bakare Adekunbi (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
29/01/2019




Date: 21/01/2019

Lagos CJ Launches New Court Rules 2019.

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honorable Justice Opeyemi Oke today launched the new High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 which enforcement will commence January 31. The event was held at the Conference Room of the High Court of Lagos state, Ikeja and had all the Honorable Judges of the State in attendance.

According to Justice Oke: “The principal target of reform therefore is to facilitate total justice delivery by ensuring speedy dispensation of justice and the restoration of public confidence in our judicial system”. She regretted that for a very long time,  excessive delay has been an embarrassing feature of the administration of justice adding, “the inadequacies in our Civil Procedure Rules and abuse of its provisions were identified as a contributory factor to the delay. A number of the procedures in the old rules could not meet the demands of modern civil justice and fell starkly behind international best standards”.

She explained that it became necessary to review the 2012 version of the Civil Procedure Rules to meet the obvious reality that in terms of efficiency, accessibility and effectiveness, civil justice delivery remained deficient. “It therefore became expedient to address these problems by introducing reforms directed towards the achievement of a just, speedy and efficient administration of justice in line with the Commitment Statement of this administration. A review was also essential to further reinforce the independence of the judiciary and address the lacuna identified in the 2012 Rules, to deny them as a tool exploited to defeat the ends of justice”.

Honourable Justice Oke explained that one of the reasons why the administration of justice in Lagos State has been highly revered is because of its leadership in international best practices reform. “The New Rules 2019 is in line with international best practices comparable with any global jurisdiction. The Rules also contain new Pre-Action Protocols on various subject matters to explain the conduct and set out the steps required of parties prior to the commencement of proceedings to which the Rules apply”.

The Chief Judge remarked that the new global Lagos cannot continue to endure delay and congestion in its Courts whether traceable to the Bar or the Bench adding, “justice delayed is quite simply an injustice and amounts to a denial of the right to fair hearing and casts the administration of justice in our jurisdiction in bad light both nationally and globally”.

She remarked that with the new court rules, local investors and Foreign Direct Investors (FDI) would be more attracted to a global Lagos which has an efficient and effectual rule of law-driven business environment. “The value and overriding objectives of the 2019 Rules are for a legal system that will strive to deploy scarce judicial resources wisely, run efficiently and effectually for the benefit of all people and not at the whims and caprices of any individual or any particular group of stakeholders”.

She said it was in this light and pursuant to the cumulative powers conferred on her by the provisions of Section 247 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 89 (1) of the High Court Law of Lagos State, Cap H3, Laws of Lagos State to review Rules of Court, that the review of the 2012 Rules was kick-started last year and a 15-man Rules Review Committee was set up under the leadership of Honourable Justice Kazeem  Alogba.

To ensure an all-inclusive rules, Justice Oke said the committee notified and received contributions from all stakeholders including all the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) branches in the State, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) for their input and that of stakeholders for their contributions and suggestions to be forwarded to the Rules Committee.

Oke chided groups which she said “have been less constructive and more off hand, founding reservations on the self-serving grounds that the efficiencies of new Rules which allow limited public resources to be employed in the overall public interest will be unfriendly and “run out of business” practitioners who are unwilling to make a good faith effort to adapt. She described such fears as “flimsy and appear to be self-serving and retrogressive in nature.”

She said: “The courts are created to serve the public and not incompetent or inefficient legal practitioners. Legal practitioners’ practice to serve the public and the system of justice and this is a professional and ethical responsibility.

“It is remarkable and intolerable that any legal practitioner should oppose efficiency and effectiveness in civil justice delivery in a perverted self-interest.

“The new rules are intended for the greater good of and the efficient and speedy dispensation of the greater number of cases and not to discriminately satisfy a few or any particular group of stakeholders”, she stressed.

Chairman of the review committee, Honourable Justice Alogba in a remark commended members of the committee for their meaningful contributions during the period the assignment lasted. He also thanked the Chief Judge for her support for the committee and for not leaving the job to them alone.

Bakare Adekunbi Mrs
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
21/01/2019




Date: 21/01/2019

LET THE FEAR OF GOD BE YOUR WATCHWORD IN THE DISPENSATION OF DUTY - LAGOS CHIEF JUDGE .

Lagos State Chief Judge, Honorable Justice Opeyemi Oke today 21st of January 2019, admonished newly Sworn-in President and Members of the Customary Court to let the fear and dread of God be in their hearts as they do justice on the people.

The four Presidents of the Customary Courts include Mr. Ojora-Adejiyan Adeyinka, Mrs. Ogunsanwo Adeola, Mr. Sodimu Idowu, and Mrs. Keshinro Aramide while the two members are Mrs. Olaoye Oredola and Mr. Shonowo Ayoola. Honorable Justice Oke reminded them to uphold the rule of law and enshrine justice in their court according to the native law and custom of the people.

"As Customary Court judges and members, you must act with a high level of decorum and within the dictates of your conscience. The fundamental rights, freedoms and principles underpinning our Constitutional Democracy must guide you”, she advised.

She reiterated the need for them to conduct themselves in a manner that is seen to be above board.
She said any standard that is less than that which is prescribed and other infringement shall attract the sanction of the Judicial Service Commission.

The Chief Judge enjoined them to give no room for corrupt practices as the Commission has zero tolerance for same and will be swift to appropriately discipline any officer found culpable after thorough inquiries.

"Let it resound in your hearts at all times that as Customary Court Judges and Members, you are to maintain a high standard of judicial conduct. In addition to good morals, judicial etiquettes and high ideals of conduct, it is equally important that your knowledge of the native law and custom of the people must be exceptional.

"It is now abundantly clear that a judge who is not fully aware of the law can ruin lives by interpreting the law wrongly and thereafter giving the wrong judgment. It was in the light of this that the Commission conducted a thorough screening from which you emerged as the best candidates based on your track record, integrity, ability and qualifications, and were therefore appointed without any unwarranted interference, whether externally or otherwise", she said.

The Chief Judge said the jurisdiction of the Customary Court has been expanded, likewise their volume of cases increased significantly. She urged them to enhance their knowledge of the rudiments of case management to attract more patronage by members of the public who principally use the Court as a dispute resolution forum. She added, “the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission and I have the burning desire for the Customary Court of Lagos State to achieve distinction and we urge you to buy into this and assiduously work towards it".


The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Judiciary Commission, Mrs. Olubukola Salami, in a welcome address, expressed confidence that the inauguration of the new Presidents and Members would enhance justice delivery at the customary court level and ensure speedy disposition of cases. Mrs. Salami also admonished them to maintain high standard of professionalism, competence and integrity in dispensation of justice. She said this has become necessary as their conduct and carriage would come under public scrutiny.

Ololade Ige Mrs.
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Office
21/01/2019




Date: 18/01/2019

Lagos Judiciary Gets New 35 Magistrates.

Additional thirty-five magistrates have been added to the Lagos State Judiciary as a way of hastening quick and fair justice dispensation to members of the public.

The Chief Judge of the State, Honorable Justice Opeyemi Oke urged the Magistrates to see their appointment as a way of advancing the cause of both common and uncommon man, just as she advised them to be mindful of the trust reposed in the judiciary by members of the public.

The Chief Judge gave the advice on Friday when she presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed magistrates of the Lagos State Judiciary at the High Court Foyer, Igbosere, Lagos.

According to her, the faith of the society in the judiciary majorly fuels the relevance, authority and legitimacy of the judiciary, stressing that the trust in the judiciary would be lost once the confidence in the dispensation of justice is in doubt.

She admonished them in the words of the former President of the Supreme Court of Israel Aharon Barak that "adjudication is not an attempt to please everyone but a firm insistence of values and principles; not surrender to or compromise with interest groups but an insistence on upholding the law; not making decisions according to temporary whims but progressing consistently on the basis of deeply held beliefs, fundamental values and of course, the rule of law."

Justice Oke encouraged the appointees to bring to bear all the knowledge and expertise required of them in the discharge of their duties and also acquaint themselves with the provisions of relevant laws that would aid their judicial competences.

In her words, " As magistrates, you are responsible for the interpretation of the law in accordance with the provisions of the constitution as well as the mechanism for resolution of disputes for the purpose of ensuring equal justice, hence the need for you to constantly update your understanding of the law."

She added that the deep knowledge of the law by the appointees and their background in the legal profession should translate into the promotion of the course of justice, maintaining a high standard of judicial conduct and abstinence from conducts unbecoming of an arbiter of justice.

"I enjoin you to shun corrupt practices absolutely as the Judicial Service Commission has zero tolerance for corruption and will not refrain from appropriately disciplining any officer found culpable after thorough investigations," Justice Oke advised.

Bakare Adekunbi (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
21/01/2019




Date: 16/01/2019

Lagos Judiciary Sheriffs Trained on New Civil Procedure Rules.

The Lagos State Judiciary has organized four-day training for Sheriffs of the High Court to acquaint them with new civil procedure rules in the legal profession. The training programme which started on Monday at the Training School in Ikeja will end on Thursday 17th January 2019.

The representative of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke who declared the training opened explained that the training will also equip the participants with skills on how to implement certain aspects of the new civil procedure rules. She said that the training was in accordance with modern court practices and was meant to expand the knowledge base of Sheriffs.

Justice Oke who was represented by the Admin Judge of Ikeja, Honorable Justice Doris Okuwobi noted that the training was necessary as the state Judiciary has concluded plans to introduce automation in the service of court processes. 'l will make no pretense that the workforce of the Sheriff Section of the High Court must update their skills. There is the urgent need for reforms in the court system and in accordance with modern court practices. The basis of reforms is to help in the delivery of justice in line with principles of a fair hearing and easy access to justice," the Chief Judge added.

The Chief Judge who maintained that the participants at the training have been on the job for many years stated that there is the need to retrain the officials for better performance. The attitude to the workshop according to her should be approached from a growth mindset perspective, stressing that the training presents prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all staff.

Justice Oke used the occasion of the training to dispel purported reports of corrupt practices among members of staff, assuring members of the public that the Judiciary will not hesitate to deal decisively with any of its officials caught engaging in any form of corrupt practices.

Bakare Adekunbi (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
20/01/2019




Date: 16/01/2019

Lagos Judiciary Sheriffs Trained on New Civil Procedure Rules .

The Lagos State Judiciary has organized four-day training for Sheriffs of the High Court to acquaint them with new civil procedure rules in the legal profession. The training programme which started on Monday at the Training School in Ikeja will end on Thursday 17th January 2019.

The representative of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke who declared the training opened explained that the training will also equip the participants with skills on how to implement certain aspects of the new civil procedure rules. She said that the training was in accordance with modern court practices and was meant to expand the knowledge base of Sheriffs.

Justice Oke who was represented by the Admin Judge of Ikeja, Honorable Justice Doris Okuwobi noted that the training was necessary as the state Judiciary has concluded plans to introduce automation in the service of court processes. 'l will make no pretense that the workforce of the Sheriff Section of the High Court must update their skills. There is the urgent need for reforms in the court system and in accordance with modern court practices. The basis of reforms is to help in the delivery of justice in line with principles of a fair hearing and easy access to justice," the Chief Judge added.

The Chief Judge who maintained that the participants at the training have been on the job for many years stated that there is the need to retrain the officials for better performance. The attitude to the workshop according to her should be approached from a growth mindset perspective, stressing that the training presents prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all staff.

Justice Oke used the occasion of the training to dispel purported reports of corrupt practices among members of staff, assuring members of the public that the Judiciary will not hesitate to deal decisively with any of its officials caught engaging in any form of corrupt practices.

Bakare Adekunbi Mrs
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
16/01/2019




Date: 17/12/2018

Lagos CJ, Reels Out Achievements, Admonishes Judiciary Staff to Look Ahead with High Expectations.

As the year 2018 is going to a glorious end, theLagos State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke has admonished members ofstaff of the Lagos State Judiciary to look ahead with higher expectations and astronger resolves to do more in the New Year, as she reeled out heradministration’s achievement for 2018.

Justice Oke gave this admonition during the StateJudiciary Christmas Carol Service held last Friday at the premises of the StateHigh Court in Ikeja. While reviewing the year 2018, the Chief Judge reeled outthe achievements of her administration in the last one year, stating that 2018kicked off on a note of high expectations and that those expectations, whichwere chiefly embedded in her Vision and Mission Statements.

“Very guardedly, we have been running with ourvision and our steadfastness has birthed laudable achievements to the glory ofGod and the advancement of the Lagos State Judiciary. Reeling out theachievements of her administration, Justice Oke mentioned the installation andcommissioning of the Vision, Mission and Commitment sign posts of the LagosState Judiciary across all the Court premises in the state.

Known for her zero-tolerance for corruption, theChief Judge also talked about her fight against corruption in Lagos StateJudiciary, adding that disciplinary actions were taken against erring staff ofthe Sheriff Department, Probate Registry, Cash Office and Administrative staff.

According to her, part of the achievements includesetting up of Hospitality Unit to cater to all members of staff and the duty ofthe unit include supply of monthly provisions for members of staff. Justice Okenoted that creation of two new divisions of the High Court, Economic/FinancialCrime Division and Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Division is a majorachievement to move the judiciary forward.

"To ensure that our prison is adequatelydecongested, we embarked on series of prison visits at the various prisons inLagos state. "The digitalization of the private Registries in the state ofLagos Judiciary as well as facilitation of the amendment of the High Court andthis has increased the number of judges for Lagos State to 120.

“Appointment of Supervisory Judges for theMagistrates for efficiency and better performance, in line with the CommitmentStatement of this administration.

“The Small Claims Court Practice Direction is beingtranslated into different local languages namely: Pidgin English, Yoruba, Egun,Hausa and Ibo. Honourable Judges are currently working on this.

“Three weeks intensive training for newly employedSheriffs with passing out ceremony which took place on the 10th day ofDecember, 2018”, she stated.

Justice Oke specially thanked the Lagos StateGovernor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner forJustice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, as well as Judiciary staff for their firm supportin achieving the fetes.

“Indeed, all of these could not have materializedwithout your collaborative efforts and the very firm support we have enjoyedfrom our external partners. Kindly accept my heartfelt appreciation for yourconstant support and prayers.

“I will also like to express my profound gratitudeto our indefatigable Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for hisunwavering backing. He is very passionate about the smooth operation of theJudiciary and does not take any issue connected with or affecting the Judiciarywith levity. In fact, he regards the Judiciary as a core pride of hisadministration. My heartfelt appreciation also goes to my dear brother, theHon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem. He hasalso been very helpful in the achievement of our core projects and never complainseven when I tirelessly call on him for follow up.

“As the year comes to a glorious end, I enjoin youall to look ahead with even higher expectations and a stronger resolve to domore in the New Year. Verily I say to you that everything we conceive, we willachieve if we faint not. Remember, we are ONE UNITED!” she stated.



Bakare Adekunbi (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
18/12/2018




Date: 07/12/2018

LAGOS CJ INAUGURATES 47 NEW SHERIFFS TO QUICKEN TRIALS, JUSTICE..

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke, today, 10th of December 2018, inaugurated 47 newly-recruited court sheriffs to quicken trials and justice delivery. Honourable Justice Oke charged them to shun corruption and be above board in the discharge of their duties.

The court sheriffs are responsible for serving court papers on litigants as well as enforcing the orders and judgments of the court. Honourable Justice Oke, at the induction, which held at the premises of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, noted that the sheriffs were critical to the smooth running and efficiency of the justice system.

According to her, the court could not assume jurisdiction without the proper service of the originating processes. She explained that the recruitment and training of the new court sheriffs were targeted at overhauling the old order characterized by "complaints of delays in service, failure to serve, falsification of affidavits of service, delays in reporting service, laziness, ineptitude, corruption, among other issues".
The Chief Judge said the recruitment was part of her administration's "wide range of far-reaching innovations" to address some of the lapses in the justice system.

"You are a new breed. You represent a new dispensation in the Sheriff Corps, and by the Grace of the Almighty God, you have come in at this time to breathe new life and, by God's grace, to change the old order. "You cannot afford to blend with the system. You are expected to stand out, you are expected to stand for what is right at all times. "Shun all forms of corruption and take your jobs seriously," the CJ told the new recruits.

She disclosed that a number of the old sheriffs had been dismissed for unethical conducts. At the ceremony, the 47 new sheriffs were presented with certificates, marking their completion of a three-week induction course, which they reportedly took at the Lagos State Judiciary Training School.

OLOLADE IGE
ASST. DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS
08/12/2018




Date: 07/12/2018

LAGOS CJ FREES 7 INMATES FROM IKOYI PRISON, PROMISES TO COMMENCE RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CENTRES JANUARY..

Seven inmates from the Ikoyi Prisons in Lagos today 7th of December 2018, breathed the air of freedom when they were granted amnesty by the Lagos State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke. The Chief Judge said the gesture was aimed at decongesting the prisons and ensuring that deserving inmates breathed fresh air of freedom.

In exercise of her Prerogative of Mercy, she freed the inmates pursuant to the provisions of Section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Special Provision Act CAP C40, 2007, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Justice Oke commenced the amnesty exercise on Thursday with a visit to Kirikiri maximum, medium and female prisons. She had released nine inmates, four from medium and five from maximum prisons in Kirikiri on Thursday.

The total number of inmates granted amnesty both from Kirikiri and Ikoyi prisons between Thursday and Friday is now 16. The freed inmates were said to have stayed longer in custody than the number of years they would have spent if sentenced by the court for offences charged. Continuing with the exercise yesterday, at the Ikoyi prison, the Chief Judge explained that those granted amnesty were qualified for release after a thorough review of their case files. She however admonished the released inmates to, henceforth, be of good behaviour and stay away from crime. She also advised them to desist from any act that would bring them back to prison.

As part of measures to further decongest the prisons, Justice Oke said the Restorative Justice Centres set up by her administration will take off January next year. She said Lagos blazed the trail in setting up the centres as part of efforts to decongest the prisons and as “mandated by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen”.

The Chief Judge said prison decongestion is a national issue and at the heart of President Buhari and Justice Onnoghen emphasizing why all Chief Judges were mandated to do all within their powers to ensure that the prisons are not congested. According to her, the centres, which will operate as mediation centres, would determine lesser criminal matters like assault, petty stealing between complainants and respondents, without such matters getting to Police Stations.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Deputy Controller of Ikoyi Prisons (DCP) Tolu Ogunsakin urged the Chief Judge to introduce parole system, community services, accelerated hearings, fines and warnings among others in order to help decongest the prisons. Ogunsakin disclosed that the facility built for convicts in 1955 with a capacity for 800 inmates, presently has 3,138 inmates, out of which awaiting trials accounted for 2,644 while 494 are convicts.

According to Ogunsakin, notwithstanding the number of inmates, Ikoyi Prison facility is run as a genuine correctional institution for reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. “We have been continually committed to ensuring that our inmates do not idle-away but leave our facility better than before their incarceration. Our Human Resource Development Unit- 3R Club (Reformation, Rehabilitation and Re-integration Club) has been deeply engrossed in training programmes aimed at equipping the inmates with useful skills in order for them to be self-reliant and law abiding on their discharge", the DCP stated.


OLOLADE IGE
ASST. DIRECTOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
08/12/2018




Date: 10/12/2018

LAGOS CHIEF JUDGE DIRECTS MAGISTRATES IN THE STATE TO DEPLOY MORE OF NON-CUSTODIAL SENTENCING FOR MINOR OFFENDERS IN ORDER TO DECONGEST THE PRISON..

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke on Thursday 6th of December, 2018, directed Magistrates in the State to deploy more of non-custodial sentencing for minor offenders in order to decongest the prisons.
Justice Oke issued the directive while granting freedom to nine prison inmates. She said the Chief Registrar has been directed to issue a circular formally instructing Magistrate Courts to make use of non-custodial sentences for minor offences like street trading. "All our magistrates would henceforth be monitored to ensure compliance with the directive", she said
Honourable Justice Oke also disclosed plans by the Lagos State Government to set up restorative justice centers in the State."All simple cases need not go to police. The restorative justice center is a mediation center. If there is an agreement and the guilty one can pay for a missing tooth, why go to court? This is a way of decongesting the prisons", she said.
Five inmates, out of 25 shortlisted, were released from Medium Security Prisons, including one Saidi Raimi from Kwara State who was released to a mental home. Four others, out of another batch of ten shortlisted, were released from the Maximum Security Prisons, Kirikiri, having been in custody for between eight and eleven years and longer than the number of years they would have spent if sentenced by the court for offences charged.
The Chief Judge told the released inmates to henceforth be of good behavior and stay away from crime. She admonished them to desist from any act that would bring them back to prison. “Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1(1) of the Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) Act,2007 as well as Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution, you are hereby released from custody today, December 6, 2018. I want you to henceforth be of good behaviour. Make sure you don’t breach any law again. Go out there and sin no more”, she further admonished them.
Although ten women were shortlisted for release in the Female Prisons, she regretted that none qualified for release, as trial had commenced in their matter and are presently on bail. One of them, Ms. Uche Emeasoba had her bail conditions relaxed from N1 million to N500,000.00 and sureties reduced to one. The Chief Judge explained that those granted amnesty qualified for release after a thorough review of their case files.
Lagos State Controller of Prisons, Tunde Ladipo, while responding to questions from newsmen commended the Lagos Chief Judge for bringing hope to the inmates and her efforts to decongest the prisons. Ladipo also noted the efforts of the Nigerian Prisons Service to decongest the Prisons saying that this was why the Federal         Government set up the Presidential Committee on Prerogative of Mercy for Deserving Inmates.
Earlier, Deputy Controller of Prisons, Medium Security Prisons, Kirikiri, Rev. Freedman Ben-Rabbi had requested that the Chief Judge assist them through provision of court cells at the premises of Igbosere High Court, Isolo and Ejigbo Magistrate Courts. Ben-Rabbi and colleagues, Assistant Controller of Prisons (ACP), Mrs. Christy  Diala and Superintendent Joda Olatunbosun of the Female Prisons and Maximum Security Prisons respectively, urged the Chief Judge for logistical support for easy movement and prosecution of the inmates.

OLOLADE IGE
ASST. DIRECTOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
08/12/2018




Date: 16/11/2018

CJ PROBES N8.4 M FRAUD IN THE HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE.

As part of herefforts to curb corruption in the judiciary, the Chief Judge of Lagos State,Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke has constituted a panel to investigate an N8.4 millionfraud in the Fast Track Division of the High Court of Lagos State

The ChiefRegistrar of the High Court, Mrs. Taiwo Olatokun revealed that Hon. Justice Okeset up a panel following the discovery that two fake Alpha Beta receipts wereissued in respect of a filing fee in a matter filed at the High Court.

The ChiefRegistrar noted that one Oriade Olawale Mustapha, a staff in the Fast TrackDivision who is suspected to be involved in the fraud has absconded after hewas invited to appear before the panel.

The Policehave commenced investigation and has invited some other members of staff forinterrogation. They also stated that it will extend the investigation to theChambers that filed the suit and the Bank where the forged Alpha Beta receiptswere purportedly issued.

Bakare Adekunbi Adebola (Mrs.)

Asst. Chief Information Officer

Lagos State Judiciary

16th November 2018


Bakare Adekunbi Adebola (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Information Officer Lagos State Judic
19/11/2018




Date: 17/10/2018

Lagos High Court Judges, Magistrates Inducted as Scout Members.

Seventeen judges and nine magistrates of the Lagos State Judiciary were today, inducted as members of the Lagos State Scout Council. The investiture held today, at the Lagos State High Court foyer, Igbosere as part of activities marking the 2018/2019 new Legal Year.

Activities marking the new Legal Year commenced on Monday with services held at the Cathedral Church of Christ and Lagos Central Mosque simultaneously. It would be recalled that State Scout Council had in May this year inducted the Lagos Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke as its President.

Speaking at the induction ceremony for the judges as magistrates today, Honourable Justice Oke asked the inductees to see their membership of the scout council as way of serving in another capacity to help the society, especially the young ones. Justice Oke admonished the new scout members to see themselves as agents of positive change.

She also promised to set up a committee, which will ensure that despite their busy schedule as judges and magistrates, they find time to contribute to the education of young people through a value system based on the Scouts laws.

Lagos Scout Council Commissioner, Chief Jonathan Tawose in his short address described the investiture as epoch making one, adding that scout movement is a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people, which is also open to all without distinction of gender, origin, race or creed.

"Scouting offers young people the opportunity to develop their full emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible global citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

"It is important to emphasizes that the role of adult leader play consists of assisting young people in achieving the objectives of scouting, while the boy or girl is 'learning to know', 'learning to be' and 'learning to do', the adult leader should confine himself/herself to merely facilitating and educating as credited to the founder - Lord Robert Baden Powell who said: "here then lies the most important aim of scout training"", he stated.

The judges and magistrates, who do not consider themselves too dignify to serve in another capacity and were inducted yesterday, include Hon. Justice B. A. Candide-Johnson, Hon. Justice M. O. Obadina, Hon. Justice J. E. Oyefeso, Hon. Justice O. A. Taiwo, Hon. Justice S. O. Nwaka, Hon. Justice A. O. Opesanwo, Hon. Justice O. A. Olayinka, Hon. Justice O. A. Okikiolu-Ighile and Hon. Justice O. A. Akinlade.

Others are Hon. Justice I. O. Harrison, Hon. Justice O. A. Ogala, Hon. Justice G. A. Safari, Hon. Justice I. O. Akinkugbe, Hon. Justice O. A. Adamson and Hon. Justice A. Soladoye

Bakare Adekunbi (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
18/10/2018




Date: 16/10/2018

Delay in Justice Administration: Hard Time Awaits Lawyers Next Year.

It will no longer be business as usual for lawyers who are in the habit of delaying trial as Lagos Judiciary sets to review its Civil Procedure Rules 2012 to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke disclosed this today at a summit in Lagos, to review the 2012 Civil Procedure Rules.

She said the new rules  expected to come into effect as from January next year impose strict sanctions on lawyers, are more  firm and strict and block those hindrances that have been delaying justice delivery.

She said if possible, she would love to see a situation where a lawyer will lose his practicing license for delaying justice as it is done in Singapore.

"We need to take firmer position particularly on adjournments. In Singapore, adjournment is only allowed on matter of life and death. Things we tolerate here are not tolerated in America and UK. Why can't we replicate those rules in our court rules in Nigeria if it will hasten justice delivery", she asked.

Justice Oke emphasized the need to always review the court rules to suit socio-economic demands and for laws in the state to remain sound, active and functional.
The Chief Judge pointed out that court congestion has been a major problem in the justice sector. She said henceforth, adjournment will no longer be granted on unnecessary applications.

She encouraged members of the bar to always advise their clients on the usage of Alternative Dispute Resolution, (ADR) in resolving issues so as to reduce the workloads of judges.

Justice Oke said all cases (aside Criminal cases) must first be referred for mediation and that courts will henceforth be last resort as done in other jurisprudence around the world.

The Chairman of the Civil Procedures Rules Committee, Justice Kazeem Alogba, given insight into the proposed review already carried out, disclosed that any lawyer who scuttled any trial date will pay a minimum fine of N100,000.00 and N50,000 in the case  of an interlocutory application for which a date has been fixed for hearing.

Justice Alogba said non-compliance with Form 01 on Pre-Action Protocol will render the process a nullity in addition to 'serious punishment'. He also stated for instance that where a matter is left in the docket of a judge, six months after commencement of trial, the matter will be summarily struck out. To ensure diligent prosecution, Justice Alogba said default fees will be N1,000 per day as against the old N200. He said the proposed new Civil Rule made provision for video conference in taking evidences and limited the main written address to 20 pages on A4 paper, 14 point type size and five pages for reply on point of law.

Also, he said all means of electronic communication personal to a respondent would be deployed for service and be taken as proof of service by substitution.

He sought cooperation of lawyers to block delay in justice delivery explaining that the essence of the summit was to get opinions of the bar on the proposed working rules.
Earlier, the Chairman of the event, Justice Williams Dawodu, a justice of the Federal Court of Appeal, commended Lagos Judiciary for setting the pace by coming up with new rules that can be replicated by other states and comparable in other jurisprudence of the world.

"We want to ensure that the rules in Lagos State continue to be functional and for them to be functional, they must adapt to changes in the society", she said.
The Justice of the Court of Appeal expressed confidence that when works on the new rules are completed, “they will be honest, sincere and objective contributions.”

In a remark, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire who said with the new rules members of the bar would desist from delaying trial urged lawyers to save legal profession. Dr. Banire agreed with the recommendations of the review committee to sanction any lawyer who filed a frivolous application aimed at frustrating trial. He however suggested that the number of days for filing responses be reduced to 21 days instead of former 41 days.


Bakare Adekunbi (Mrs.)
Asst. Chief Public Affairs Officer
17/10/2018




Date: 15/10/2018

23,900 Cases Disposed Between 2017-2018 - Lagos CJ.

The Lagos State Chief Judge, Honourable JusticeOpeyemi Oke today, 15th of October 2018, disclosed that the statistics of casesdisposed of by the Lagos State Judiciary between October 2017 to September 2018is a total number of twenty- three thousand, nine hundred (23,900).

Justice Oke made this revelation at the specialservice for the opening of the Lagos State Judiciary 2018/2019 Legal Year, heldat the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos.

According to the CJ, "the Backlog EliminationProgramme aimed at getting rid of old cases was part of the means devised bythe State Judiciary to conquer the challenge of backlog cases.

Reeling out the achievements of her administration,Oke stated that creation of two new divisions of the High Court,Economic/Financial Crime Division and Sexual Offences and Domestic ViolenceDivision is one of the major things put in place to move the judiciary forward.

“To ensure that our prison is adequatelydecongested, we embarked on series of prison visits at the various prisons inthe State.

Known for her zero-tolerance for corruption,Justice Oke also took disciplinary actions against erring staff of thejudiciary who were found guilty of corruption allegations.

 Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode duringthe service congratulates the State Judiciary, for the new legal year

In a short speech, Ambode said: "As we beginanother judicial year, I assure you of my continued support and partnership.Our administration recognizes the separate but interwoven roles of the threearms of government. And part of our own commitment to a lawful and orderlysociety is to respect the limit of those constitutionally defined limits. This,we have always done.

"One of the cardinal policies of ourgovernment has always been the enthronement of law and order. Today, I stand ahappy man knowing we have delivered on those promises. 

The increased workload and the number of cases inour courts necessitated the appointment of more judges and magistrates."

The Bishop of the Lagos, Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion), Dr. Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye in a short sermon titled"The Unchanging God in a Changing Times" admonishes the judiciary tofollow the path of truth, justice and righteousness.

Olumakaiye further charged the Lagos state judgesas well as other judiciary staff not to depart from the path of integrity anddiscipline.

Representing the Governor at the service held atthe Lagos Central Mosques, Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Lagos, the deputygovernor,  Dr. Idiat Adebule emphasized that Lagos Judiciarymust continue to be in the forefront of judicial reforms to meet theexpectation of the modern day justice sector.