Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Thursday swore in Justice Williams Akintoroye as the substantive Chief Judge of the state.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by Mr Richard Olatunde, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
The statement said Akeredolu also swore in the first female Prof. of Law to become a judge in Nigeria, Justice Alero Akeredolu, as a Judge of the State High Court and Justice Orimisan Okorisa as Justice of the State Customary Court of Appeal.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akintoroye served the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in many capacities including being the Vice Chairman and Chairman, Ondo NBA Branch, respectively.
The statement quoted Akeredolu at the ceremony held at the Governor’s Office, Akure, as describing the new Chief Judge as well reputed, forthright and decent.
“He joined the Bench in 2002 as an experienced Bar man. He had seen it all before his appointment as a judge in Ondo State. He is, therefore, a personality not expected to descend into an arena of conflict to satiate pettiness, malice, partisanship and/or greed.
”He has availed himself, creditably, in these past years. He has earned his respect from his colleagues, staff and litigants,” the governor said.
Akeredolu, who said the other two new judges were fit and proper persons to be elevated to the bench, added that their appointments, as recommended by the National Judicial Council, were based on merit.
”My Lord, Honourable Justice (Prof.) Alero Akeredolu, has engaged the profession on three flanks, namely, private practice, law reporting and academics.
“It is imperative that we also mention the tireless efforts of this passionate advocate on continuing education and mentoring of young lawyers.
“This erudite scholar, until now, was also an active Bar personality at the Premier Bar, Ibadan, in the last 33 years since she became a lawyer at the age of 20 years. She is the first female Professor of Law to become a judge in the country.
“Humble, decent, intelligent, industrious and honest, Justice Alero Akeredolu will make any decent shortlist where merit is the basic yardstick. I am proud of this unassuming lady of uncommon patriotism and dedication to duty. The State stands to benefit from her industry, ” he said.
The governor also said that the Hon Justice Okorisa had practised law from the day of Call to Bar till his appointment as a judge.
He said Okorisa was an effective advocate in the South Senatorial District of Ondo State where he handled many cases for the people, earning him the advocate of the masses in the area.
“He was passionate about his practice. He established an impressive private office at Igbokoda. Though still young, he has recorded remarkable achievements in advocacy since 2004 when he became a lawyer.
“The state is eager to reap, bountifully from his ebullience and appreciable knowledge of law,” he said.
The governor charged the new judges to discharge their responsibilities as judicial officers without let or hindrance, saying that they must justify the sacred trust reposed in them by the people of the state.
“It is our fervent hope that all the newly sworn-in judges will justify the trust reposed in them. We, on our part, are prepared to support the judiciary as we have been doing since we assumed leadership in the state.
“This administration has never interfered in the affairs of the judiciary in the state. It does not intend to do so till the expiration of its tenure.
”It will, however, not fail to challenge any act, administrative or judicial decision, which bears the unmistakable imprint of manifest malice, bias, partisanship and/or injustice,” Akeredolu said.(NAN)