Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday restated the determination of his administration to partner with the state judiciary.
Speaking at a special church service which took place at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina Lagos as part of activities heralding the commencement of the 2015/2016 legal year, Governor Ambode described the judiciary as the most veritable instrument for attaining growth and economic development in the state.
Earlier in his sermon, the Lord Bishop of Badagry, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Rt Reverend B.J Adeyemi noted that the grace to be a judge, magistrate and an advocate must not be taken for granted.
He therefore called on judges, magistrates and advocates across the state to let the light of God shine as they dispense justice in all cases assigned to them.
The clergy said, “We are in the world to serve God and humanity. We are pilgrims in this world and when the time comes, we will give account of our stewardship before God.
“You should desist from all forms of corruption. Corruption is thriving in Nigeria because nobody is doing anything about it.
“The judiciary has a great role to play, and to achieve this, judges, magistrates and advocates must be incorruptible. You should be like Jesus while dispensing justice.
“You should be upright in your decisions and rededicate your lives to God and live up to your callings as judges.
At the Lagos Central Mosque, an Islamic scholar and a professor of history, Tajudeen Gbadamosi urged the judiciary not to frustrate President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to wipe out corruption from the country.
Giving the charge while delivering a lecture entitled, “Ethics of Wealth” at the Muslim service to mark the commencement of the new legal year, the academic giant further advised Nigerians to earn their wealth lawfully and spend same responsibly.
Professor Gbadamosi also advised judges to be proactive, and carry out their duties with the fear of God without favour or bias to the people regardless of their class, political affiliation and status in the society.
He said, “Wholesome wealth could be some profit from our capital, wages for our labour, an inheritance, or a gift. Our wealth should never come from bribery, theft, robbery, deceit, interest, gambling and the rest.
“Public perception of the justice system in Nigeria, especially with regard to fraud and corruption, is that the more you steal, the less your prison terms.
“We have seen numerous examples, especially within the last few years of people who stole from the public treasury, from our commonwealth and who diverted public funds for selfish use. Yet these people got court judgment which could at best be described as ‘a pat on the hand.”
The event was attended by the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Idayat Aderanti-Adebule, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, other judges among other dignitaries.