Kwara Governor restates support for judiciary as new legal year begins


  • CJ commends Governor’s strides in infrastructural development, seeks more

Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq , on Tuesday pledged continuous support for the judicial arm of government, including in the area of infrastructural development and welfare.

The Governor said rehabilitation of courtrooms, among other efforts of the administration, will continue within budgetary limits in the new year.

“Our administration will continue to partner with the judiciary to sustain the rule of law, public order, and safety. Along with some other supports that ease the dispensation of justice, I assure you that infrastructural development in the justice sector, including rehabilitation of courtrooms that we have started, will continue within budgetary allowances in the new year,” AbdulRazaq said in a remark at a ceremony heralding the 2024 Legal Year of Kwara State.

“On this day and always, we value your partnership and the alliances that continue to sustain law and order as we mobilise resources for sustainable development and improved wellbeing of the people.”

AbdulRazaq commended the judiciary for remaining steadfast and resolute in the dispensation of justice, congratulating all branches of the State Judiciary on the commencement of another legal year 2023/2024 and saying the event means a lot to the legal community as it does for the rest of our society.

“Without prejudice to the fact that every system is a work in progress, your commitment has helped to strengthen public confidence in the court and reinforce the ideal of the courts as the last hope of the common man. This has profound consequences for law and order, and public safety,” AbdulRazaq added.

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Sulayman, said the administration is committed at all times to the rule of law, which he said is fundamental to justice.

Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Abiodun Adebara, applauded AbdulRazaq for his investment in court infrastructure, welfare of judicial staff as well as strengthening of its manpower to achieve a smoother, quicker and more efficient administration of justice

Justice Adebara added, “Soon after his assumption of duty as Governor of Kwara State, he appointed five new High Court Judges in 2020. In the year 2023, he had equally given his approval for the appointment of six additional High Court Judges in the state. This represents the highest so far at a time in the state. The appointment exercise is ongoing before the National Judicial Council, and I believe that our judicial-friendly Governor will do all that is necessary for the complete actualization of this appointment.

“When this is done, for the first time in the history of the state, it will bring the number of High Court Judges in the state to an all-time high number of 24.

“Coming to the infrastructural development, during the year under review, His Excellency gave approval and released funds for the complete renovation and rehabilitation of the High Court building in Offa Judicial Division. Since the Court was built many years ago, this will be the first effort at renovating and rehabilitating the said Court.”

The Chief Judge announced that 26,533 cases were registered in all tiers of the Court in the state in the 2022/2023 legal year, and commended the bar and the bench for their commitment to improved Justice system.

“The grand total of the cases registered in all tiers of Court in the state in the 2022/2023 legal year just ended is 26,533 out of which 13,720 were decided, leaving 12,813 pending cases at the beginning of the current legal year. The total revenue generated from both criminal and civil cases in all the courts as well as Probate fees in Kwara State in the last legal year as fines and court fees amounted to N83,674,936.86,” the Chief Judge said.

The event was attended by members of the bar and the bench, including serving and retired Appeal Court Justices, retired chief judges, and serving and retired judges.

Speaking on behalf of the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria in the state, Chief Peter Olorunnisola appealed to members of the bar not to do anything that will damage the image or greatness of the judiciary.

In their separate remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Ilorin Branch Kamaldeen Gambari and the Chairman of Offa NBA Bashir Ijaiya stressed the need for upgrade of more offices and courtrooms of judges to dispense justice to all manner of people without fear or favour.

They also appreciated Governor AbdulRazaq for renovating the High Court Building in Offa — the first renovation to be carried out since the construction of the building in the 1980s.