Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday swore in Hon. Justice Ayedun Olusegun Odusola as the 12th Chief Judge of the State.

Justice Odusola had served as the Acting Chief Judge of the State until his recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC) and subsequent appointment by the governor and approval by the State House of Assembly.

The governor also swore in Hon. Justice Bolatito Florence Ajibade; Hon. Justice Bankole Jacob Akinwunmi; Hon. Justice Leonard Boyede Ologun and Hon. Justice Femi Sylvester Akinbinnu as new High Court Judges in the State.

Akeredolu equally inaugurated Pastor Omofunmile Adejombo; Mrs. Omolola Akinseloyin and Mr Stanley Adeniyan as members of the State Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Akeredolu described the appointment of the Chief Judge and other Judges as the greatest honour a society could confer on any citizen.

He said their appointments were not only a mark of recognition with regards to competence in the administration and practice of law, but also confirmed their fitness in terms of character.

Akeredolu reiterated his Administration’s promise to support the judiciary.

“Amidst the challenges faced by us, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 which impacted negatively on the finances of the State, we have continued to discharge our duties with utmost care and focus,” he said.

The governor disclosed that he had just approved the immediate commencement of work on the construction of a new Ultra-Modern Court Complex.

According to the governor, the proposed architectural masterpiece is designed to have all the facilities of a modern Court Complex which include 21 Court Halls, a modern Ceremonial Hall, Library, among others.

He said the Complex, when completed, would rank as one of the iconic court buildings in the country.

“With the support of the Almighty, we are determined to leave this building as an abiding legacy to the State,” he said.

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Akeredolu charged the Chief Judge and the four new Judges to be above board, stressing that anyone aspiring to the post of a judicial officer must be a fit and proper person.

”Anyone aspiring to the post of a judicial officer must be a fit and proper person. He must be held to the highest standard of conduct, both professionally and in private life.

“Anyone who passes the screening at various stages successfully must be adjudged qualified. Consequently, the society expects the best of performance from such a person as he will be wielding immense power over them.

“In interpreting the law, he makes and unmakes. He possesses the power of life and death while applying the law. No serious country jokes with the welfare of the judiciary.

“I have had the rare privilege of swearing in four Chief Judges and 10 judges since I mounted the saddle of leadership as the Governor of Ondo State. This is the 5th Oath taking ceremony undertaken by our Administration since inception.

“I have worked with some of these eminent personalities and have nothing other than high commendation for their exemplary dispositions. I, therefore, enjoin the new judicial officers to meet the expectations of quintessential service to the people,” he said.

The governor also warned friends and family members of the new judicial officers to desist from mounting pressures capable of distracting them.

The governor, therefore, called on lawyers, the Court Registry and the good people of Ondo State to co-operate with the new Chief Judge and his brother judges for optimum dispensation of justice.

In his acceptance speech, the new Chief Judge, thanked the governor for accepting the recommendation of the NJC and appointing him as the Chief Judge and four others as Judges of the State High Court.

He vowed to sustain the existing relationship among the arms of Government and enhance the same during his tenure as the Chief Judge.

The Chief Judge and the four new judges were handed brand new vehicles as their official cars immediately after the event. (NAN)