Three new judges are to be sworn-in to the Lagos State Judiciary on Wednesday, March 8.
They would be inducted at a ceremony to be presided over by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
The newly appointed judges are: the Chief Registrar of the State Judiciary, Emmanuel Ogundare, the Deputy Chief Registrar, Special Duties, Magistrate Serifat Solebo and the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Idowu Alakija.
The appointments of the new judges followed the approval of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the recommendation of the State Judicial Service Commission chaired by the Chief Judge, Oluwafunmilayo Atilade.
The new appointments has brought the total number of judges in the Lagos State Judiciary to 57 with 98 magistrates.
The Lagos State Judiciary held its 2014/2015 Legal Year Ceremony with simultaneous services at the church and mosque.
The Cathedral Church at Marina, Lagos Island, played host to the Chief Judge, other judges and magistrates, lawyers and guests who came to celebrate with the judiciary.
The clergy advised the judiciary to always seek divine wisdom from God in the discharge of their duties.
It was a similar scene at the Central Mosque also on Lagos Island where judges, magistrates and guests of the Muslim faith also held a thanksgiving service.
The State Government, through it’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, appealed to judicial workers in the state to shelve their proposed strike as full financial autonomy for the sector was not yet feasible.
He, however, assured the judicial workers that the State Government was not opposed to the financial autonomy of the State judiciary.
The Legal Year celebrations ended with a colourful parade and inspection of guards by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade.
A fresh move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arraign an alleged serial fraudster, Mr Fred Ajudua, before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has been stalled.
The arraignment was stalled by a preliminary objection raised by Mr Ajudua’s counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo.
The one time Lagos socialite, Ajudua, is facing a fresh 32-count amendment charge before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.
In the charges, Ajudua and a registrar in the Lagos State Judiciary, Rosulu Idowu Oluronke, allegedly conspired along with some others, still at large, to cajole and swindle a former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi of $330,000 (three hundred and thirty thousand dollar) while he was in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.
The alleged funds were collected from General Bamaiyi under the guise of being part payments meant for the legal luminary, Afe Babalola’s professional fees to handle his case and facilitate his release from the prison custody. The offence was said to have been committed between November 2004 and June 2005.
In his preliminary objection, however, counsel to Mr Ajudua, Mr Olalekan Ojo, said that the amended charges would prejudice the decision of a pending appeal before the Lagos Division of the Appeal Court.
In the said appeal, Ajudua is challenging the jurisdiction of the lower court as well as the competency of the charge.
The EFCC has objected to the preliminary objection and the court has adjourned till July 30 to hear arguments for and against the application.
Justice Inumidun Enitan Akande has officially bowed out as Chief Judge of Lagos state having attained the statutory retirement age of 65.
At a ceremony to mark her 1004 days in office, and retirement from the judiciary, Justice Akande reiterated the need to move the judiciary forward through the strengthening and sustenance of the independence of the judiciary.
She would be succeeded by Justice Ayotunde Phillips as the lawmakers nodded to the selection of Justice Ayotunde Phillips as a good choice, promising her of their support.
They urged her to fast track the dispensation of justice and also address the congestion of prisons in the state. Justice Phillips had worked with the state Development and Property Corporation as the Company Secretary before she was transferred to the Ministry of Justice in 1989.
She had worked in the Judiciary Service Commission for 18 years.
The Lagos State Chief Judge, Akande said that she made positive strides to improve the judiciary during her tenure.
She said: “Bowing out of office, I am no doubt convinced that we have, within the period, creditably discharged our functions and laid solid foundations for succeeding administrations”.
Akande said that restoring the glory and dignity of the judiciary was one of her major achievements in office.