Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said his administration would not deviate from the tenet of constitutional democracy, promising that actions of the State Government under his watch will be kept within the ambit of the law.
Speaking on Wednesday while receiving the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Marina, Sanwo-Olu said his government’s faith in the judicial system remained unshakable, adding that Lagos had been a beneficiary of the rule of law.
Justice Bulkachuwa, who was accompanied by other Justices of the Appeal Court, is retiring from the service after reaching the mandatory retirement period.
The governor said Lagos would always stand on the good side of the law, adding that his administration will particularly stand in principle against actions that may undermine the independence of the Court.
He said: “Government in Lagos State is committed to ensuring that we all live within the ambit of the law. We will continue to engage the judiciary as an independent arm of the government. All of us in the executive arm will continue to uphold the tenet of the constitution that we swore to in our ways and deeds. We will not run foul of the law or any pronouncement of the Court.”
Sanwo-Olu saluted the outgoing Justice Bulkachuwa for her “courage in driving far-reaching reforms” in the Court of Appeal, saying her legacies will strengthen administration of justice across the country.
The governor noted that her legacies would be a guiding light for members of the judiciary and officers in the other arms of government.
“We are happy that you are proceeding to retirement at this prime age. You are now 70 years old but you are looking like a 50-year-old. Glory be to Almighty Allah for the grace of youthful appearance and energy. You have had a wonderful career in the judiciary.
“The several successes you have recorded during your tenure as President of the Court of Appeal will continue to be the legacy we will uphold in remembrance of your service to the nation. You are the oldest serving President of the Court of Appeal and you brought many reforms and laudable initiatives to strengthen the judicial process.
“Whoever is succeeding you will have enough to draw from your legacies. We hope you keep your doors open not only to the judiciary but also all of us who are looking forward to learn from your leadership skills,” he said.
Justice Bulkachuwa said she would dedicate her retirement life to promoting girl-child education across the country, noting that she would not have achieved her potential had her father not given her a chance to go to school.
She was hopeful that the reforms and discipline she had instituted in the judiciary would be strengthened by the serving members, pointing out that she had mentored a new breed of judicial officers to entrench “good legacies” she is leaving behind.
“I will still be with my sisters and brother in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts. I have mentored so many young judicial officers and upcoming lawyers to carry on the legacies. I will still be part of the judicial system despite my retirement,” Justice Bulkachuwa said.
Asked why she chose to visit Lagos governor in her first valedictory visit to any elected official, Justice Bulkachuwa said it was in Lagos the first Court of Appeal was set up among the three divisions created in 1976.
Besides, she said Lagos is “playing pivotal roles” in the administration of justice system, pointing out that majority of lawyers in the judiciary are serving in the State. She added that most of Court of Appeal’s cases were being instituted in Lagos.