Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Monday swore in Justice Ayodeji Daramola as the new Chief Judge of the state, with a charge ensure a drastic reduction in the number of Awaiting Trial Detainees (ATDs) in the state’s prison.
Daramola who is the first substantive Chief Judge of the State since 2006, as well as other high court judges were later presented brand new Toyota Prado jeeps by the Governor in fulfillment of the government’s pledge to improve on their welfare.
Speaking at the event, Governor Fayemi said though the congestion of prisons was not peculiar to Ekiti State, the fact that the Federal Government and other states are yet to find a sustainable solution to the problem of ATDs has challenged Ekiti to take the lead.
Fayemi added that Ekiti State had inaugurated the administration of justice sector reform committee with a clear mandate to provide experts advice on achieving efficiency in all parts of the justice sector in Ekiti State, especially as 200 out of the 268 inmates at the Ado Ekiti prison are ATDs.
“It is trite knowledge that one of the challenges faced by our courts is that of a significant backlog of undecided cases. This is more so with respect to criminal matters. The resultant effect is that many of the inmates in our prisons continue to spend an unreasonable period of time in prison waiting for their day in court.
In fact, according to the figures released recently by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), out of 50,601 in mates in the various prisons, 36,934 are awaiting trial. This, simply said, means that 72% of inmates in the prisons are awaiting trial. Painfully also in Ekiti State, out of the 268 inmates in Ekiti State Prison, there are 200 Awaiting Trial Detainees,” he said.
On the swearing-in of a substantive Chief Judge of the State High Court since 2006, the Governor said this was a break from “the inglorious leadership jinx the judiciary has been subjected to and make the institution take its rightful place”; adding that the judicial arm of government would now be able to respond to its statutory responsibilities more aggressively and satisfy the common man who constantly look up to it as the bastion of the people.
Fayemi however commended the National Judicial Commission and the State House of Assembly for approving the candidature of Justice Ayodeji Daramola as the new Chief Judge of the State; saying that Daramola is a thoroughly sound legal mind who represents the “independent judiciary which can stand tall in character, credibility and credentials at all times.”
“As you may be aware, the State Judiciary has been left without a substantive head for the past six years. This, no doubt, is an albatross that the State cannot afford to continue to bear. This event therefore is to break the inglorious leadership jinx the judiciary has been subjected to and make the institution take its rightful place,” he said.
While reassuring that his administration recognizes the important role of the judiciary in achieving good governance in Ekiti State, Fayemi reiterated his commitment to improving the welfare of the High Court Judges and handed over new Prado Jeeps for the use of the Judges and promised that the largesse would soon get to Magistrates of the Court.
The Governor said the vehicles are presented to them in order to further enhance the status of the Judges and make them more comfortable in the discharge of their onerous responsibilities.
In his speech, the new Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Ayodeji Daramola thanked the Governor for the opportunity given him to serve in full capacity and promised to uphold the laws of the Land without fear or favour.
Justice Ayodeji Daramola who hails from Awo Ekiti was appointed as Acting Chief Judge of the State in November 2010 and served in that capacity until his appointment on 28th of May, 2012 as a substantive Chief Judge of the State.
Sunday, May 19 2013, 9:42 pm
In the Yoruba world, the best human reflection of iwa is anyone who is qualified to be called an Omoluwabi. — , Omoluwabi 2.0 Book launch
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