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Aiyedatiwa signs amendment bill to increase number of Judges

By Adedotun Ajayi

Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on Thursday signed into law the amendment bill to increase the number of judges in the state’s judiciary. This marks the first bill signed by Governor Aiyedatiwa since his assumption of office as the 7th Executive Governor of the state.

The signing ceremony, held at the Cocoa Conference Centre, Governor’s office, Akure witnessed lawmakers, judicial officers, and other key stakeholders, who celebrated this landmark achievement for Ondo State.

In his address, Governor Aiyedatiwa highlighted the importance of this amendment, which increases the number of judges by 11, bringing the total to 35.

Pix: Ayodele Suberu

“Today, we make history with the signing into Law of this Amendment Bill. We mark a significant milestone in the annals of our great State. For the first time ever, since the creation of our State, we are increasing the number of judges in our Judiciary by 11. This invariably brings the total number of Judges in the Ondo State Judiciary to 35. It is indeed a momentous occasion that demonstrates our unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and the Rule of Law,” he said.

The governor emphasized that this increase reflects his administration’s dedication to strengthening the judiciary, which he described as the backbone of democracy.

“This achievement is a testament to our administration’s dedication to strengthening the fabric of our society. We recognize that the judiciary is the backbone of our democracy, and by enhancing its capacity, we empower our citizens, foster a more just and equitable society and enhance the administration of justice in our dear State,” Aiyedatiwa added.

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He also extended his gratitude to key figures who played a pivotal role in the bill’s passage.
The governor said “It is imperative to salute the Rt Hon Speaker, Hon Olamide Oladiji, other Hon members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, my Lord, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Hon Justice Segun Ayedun Odusola and his associate Judges, the Hon Attorney General and all other stakeholders for their untiring efforts to make this vision a reality. Your patriotism, doggedness and expertise have yielded a triumph for our Sunshine State and its good people,” he noted.

He further praised the leadership of the Ondo State Judiciary for their commitment to independence, neutrality, impartiality, and courage.

“Permit me to salute the leadership of Ondo State Judiciary for your commitment to independence, neutrality, impartiality and courage in carrying out the administration of justice and observance of the Rule of Law. You have, no doubt, demonstrated that you are indeed the last hope of the common man, even in moments of critical trials for our State,” the governor stated.

Governor Aiyedatiwa reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to supporting the judiciary, including the recent approval and mobilization for the construction of a new ultra-modern judiciary complex and ongoing training for judges both locally and internationally.

“As I sign this Bill into Law today, we not only expand access to justice but also fortify the foundation of our democracy. By increasing the number of Judges, we are not only reducing the workload of the existing Judges, but also enabling the Judiciary to tackle backlog of cases. We equally ensure timely and faster administration of justice, thereby reducing congestion in our courts. We demonstrate that our State is a beacon of progress, where the rights and dignity of all citizens are cherished and protected,” he added

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In his welcome address, Justice Olusola Odusola, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, stated that the signing into law of the amendment bill to increase the number of judges is a testament to the Governor’s commitment to enhancing the efficiency of court matters. He mentioned that this increase will help reduce the workload of the current judges. Additionally, he expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for their attention to the bill.

Also, Speaker Ondo state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Speaker, Hon Olamide Oladiji, remarked that in accordance with the legislative authority of the House, the House Committee meticulously reviewed and deliberated on the amendment bill. He praised the committee for their comprehensive and diligent efforts, which ultimately led to the successful passage of the bill into law. The Speaker also reaffirmed their commitment to continue supporting the governor and the government of Ondo State in their respective capacities.

In attendance are the Deputy governor, Dr Olayide Adelami, the Secretary to the State Government, Tayo Oluwatuyi, Chief of staff, Prince Segun Omojuwa, Chief Judge of Ondo state, Olusegun Odusola, President of customary court of appeal, Justice Eunice Alade, speaker ondo state house of assembly, Rt Hon Speaker, Hon Olamide Oladiji and members of the state executive council..

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Aiyedatiwa signs amendment bill to increase number of Judges

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