Judges are next to God but we won’t permit flippancy —Akeredolu
…… Says No Judge Should Do Him Any Favor
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, yesterday sworn-in Hon. Justice Williams Akintoroye as the acting Chief Judge of the state, declaring that judges are occupying the most important public position and next to the Almighty (God).
He charged the new Acting CJ to live up to the dictates of his calling.
Justice Akintoroye’s appointment followed the retirement of the former Chief Judge, Justice Olutoyin Akeredolu, after attaining statutory retirement age of 65 years.
Governor Akeredolu emphasised that he is not ready to seek any favour from any Judge, adding that much is expected of judicial officers by virtue of the eminent positions they occupy.
The Governor spoke on Tuesday at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s office, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital.
The event was attended by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Ade Adetimehin; Justices of the Appeal Court, Hon. Justice Ademola Bola, JCA, and Hon. Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe, JCA; Hon. Judges of the Ondo State High Court; President of the state Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Eunice Aderonke Alade; Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, alongside the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Samuel Aderoboye; members of the state Executive Council led by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu.
Governor Akeredolu explained that the judiciary should represent hope for all and sundry, stressing that nobody should be allowed to operate in a manner which suggests that the law is subject to his whims and caprices, even remotely.
He said: “Both the rich and the poor, the high and the low, citizens, free from and legal entanglements, which delimit their fundamental rights, as well as those whose freedoms have been curtailed by judicial pronouncements, should feel the existence of a legal system, piloted by the judiciary.
“The beneficiary of an effective judicial system is the society itself. Every pronouncement emanating from the Bench should act as balm on the bruises of the victims of infractions. A judgement should elicit appropriate feelings from litigants.
“The direct victim of abuse should be convinced that the punishment meted to the aggressor is commensurate to the breach. The defendant should feel the full weight of justice to serve as deterrence.
“The society should heave a sigh of relief for the pronouncement. Thus, the judicial system rests on a tripod. There should be justice for the aggrieved and the aggressor. The society, by extension, the people, must be convinced that a judgement takes interest in its preservation.
“A judge occupies the most important public position. He is next to the Almighty (God) while he sits to adjudicate on matters brought before him. He can pronounce that a person be put to death for committing an offence and it will come to pass.
“He can remove kings from palaces and strip chiefs and men of considerable means off their titles. Presidents, Governors, Legislators and other public officials must defer to the enormity of the power wielded by judicial officers whose pronouncements sometimes become law.
“Therefore, this exalted position is too important than to permit flippancy, frivolities, partisanship and barely disguised acts of moral turpitude. Only a fit and proper person should aspire to sit on the Bench. And only such persons should be permitted to wield the power of life and death over other human beings.”
In his response, the Acting CJ, Justice Williams Akintoroye, appreciated the Governor for finding him worthy of the appointment, just as he promised to put God first in all his decisions and form a synergy with other two arms of government.