By Henry Ojelu
Magistrates in the Lagos State Judiciary were full of smiles during the Christmas season when the Chief judge of the state, Justice Inumidun Akande,Â presented them with a new Toyota Corolla each.
The car gift according to the CJ is part of measures to improve the welfare of magistrates in the state and ensure their maximum contribution to the smoothÂ dispensation of justice.
She commended Governor Babatunde Fashola for approving the purchase of the new cars and appealed to the magistrates to reciprocate the good gesture by beingÂ loyal and committed in the discharge of their duties.
While announcing the car gift to the magistrates at a special end of year meeting with judges and magistrates, Justice Akande also used the occasion toÂ highlight some of her achievements so far.
The Lagos Chief Judge disclosed that her vision to reform the Lagos judiciary was beginning to yield result.
She revealed that her tour of facilities and equipment in the Lagos Judiciary in all judicial divisions and magisterial districts, upon assumption of office,Â revealed the extent of decay in the judiciary and the magnitude of the task before her
Undeterred by what she saw, Justice Inumidun said she immediately embarked on some projects and programmes geared towards enhancing court infrastructure andÂ improving welfare of judges, magistrates, and members of staff of the state judiciary.
“So far, our efforts have paid off, as evident in our records of achievements and impact of our programmes and policy initiatives within the very shortÂ period of this administration,â€ she stated.
The achievements according to her include: “The establishment of finance and administrative departments for optimum efficiency; establishment of a legalÂ department to handle cases involving the judiciary; upgrading of infrastructure, construction, reconstruction and renovation of high court and magistrateÂ court buildings across the state; establishment of valuation unit in the probate division and introduction of running costs for magistrates.”
Other achievements enumerated by the CJ are: Self accounting of the Judiciary; establishment of a recreation centre exclusive to judges and magistrates,Â successful organisation of training programmes for judges and magistrates; locally and internationally; appointment of seven new judges; release of over 86Â prison inmates from the Kirikiri and Ikoyi prisons; setting up of a committee on the review of the High Court of Lagos State ( civil procedure) Rules 2004Â and the successful organisation of the summit on administration of probate.