Governor reiterates commitment to judiciary’s independence
Governor Babatunde Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has reiterated the commitment of government to the independence of the Judiciary, adding that this was a requirement for the sustenance of democratic governance.

The governor said this during the New Legal Year 2014/2015 Dinner held at the City Hall, Lagos, on Friday.

Fashola, who spoke against the backdrop of a court judgment which pronounced financial autonomy for the judiciary, said the decision has created some challenges considering the reality of funding of budget proposals.

“An independent judiciary is a necessary requirement for the sustenance of our democracy and the rule of law. But a judgment has been given that all of the money standing to the credit of the judiciary must be paid to it.

“I will like to learn the practicality of collecting money on a day-to-day basis and handing them over to the judiciary. That is the difficulty that we are facing and we are thinking of finding a practical solution to what we believe in, which is that the judiciary must be self accounting. We have appealed, but we are not disagreeable to working out a solution.”

The governor congratulated the new Chief Judge, Justice Funmilayo Atilade, for her continuity in keeping the tradition of her predecessors in office.

“I believe that this is the way it should be, to keep what one has met, to improve upon it and to add one’s ideas. If they say that institutions work, it is because men and women have done the right things and I think she has started this way.”

On the Ekiti crisis, Fashola urged the judiciary to demonstrate more courage, and stand together to ensure justice.

“So when there is a threat to the rule of law, we have no one to look to except to judicial officers. You must stand up and be our first line of defence and this I believe is the time you need to show courage. The news coming out of Ekiti State about an assault on the judiciary is not a pleasant one. The judiciary must show courage and stand together,” he said.

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