Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Tuesday formally commissioned the 22 Courts Magistrate House in Ogba which he renamed as Samuel Ilori Court House after a retired Chief Judge of the State, stating that law and order remain the most important agenda that any nation can pursue.
The Governor who spoke at the new Court House building at Ogba, added that a nation that pursues law and order will achieve everything and that no matter how beautiful the roads and buildings constructed are, if members of the society live outside the law, such a society would not progress.
He said it is important to pay attention to those who have the responsibility to enforce law, who have responsibility to administer laws because the greatest civilization have been those that have been founded and nurtured on the basis of law and order.
Fashola, while handing over the court house, said the court building was significant for a peaceful society, as a house where law and order are upheld, disputes resolved and punishment melted to offenders, in order to strengthen democracy.
He noted that when justice is dispensed in a civilised way, the society would be ordered and controlled in terms of how the society progresses adding that when judgments are handed down, it would be an enforcement of the laws that have been made and would be showing that man is different by resolving disputes in a civilized way so that people do not take up arms as a measure of resolving disputes.
“When we write judgment and hand out judgments, from after today, you will be enforcing laws that we made and that we can live by the rules that we made. We would also be punishing, whenever it is necessary to do so, those who threaten our society, those who threaten our children, our wives and our mother and in that way, we would be strengthening our democracy.”
Governor Fashola said beyond law and order, there is also the issue of the economy being nutured as the new Courts would be staffed by people who would earn a living from working there.
He added that there would also be a regular maintenance contractor there which is part of what the present administration has done again by maintaining every public facility that it has built.
He explained that the maintenance would not only secure the guaranteed lifespan of the building and keep it in good shape , repairs would also become a way of providing work because when the construction workers move away from site, some people including those who worked during the construction are hired to work there again.
He also informed that the new Samuel Ilori Court House would be added to the list of public assets that are covered by the State Global Insurance for every building that the administration has delivered against all eventualities.
The Governor thanked the members of the Judiciary and the Bar for their support for his administration in its quest to deliver justice to the average residents of the State, urging them to extend same to the incoming administration.
Fashola expressed his happiness at seeing Justice Ilori being physically present at the event, adding that he served the State admirably at a time when there was legal and constitutional crises leading the Judiciary aright.
He said the decision to name the Court Complex after Justice Ilori was a way of showing a token of appreciation for the wonderful work he did as the Chief Judge of Lagos State and to inspire upcoming generations.
In her address at the commissioning, Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Olufunmilayo Atilade said the state judiciary will ever remain grateful to Governor Fashola for the beautiful Court House, saying it will a help in speedy dispensation of justice.
She said; “Today’s commissioning and handover attest yet again to the unshakeable commitment of the Lagos State Government to sustain infrastructure development in the state judiciary and to the improvements of justice delivery and justice administration in the state, an enduring legacy for which this administration will be remembered.
“Let me note further that earlier this year, Epe and Ikeja Magistrates and High court building projects were completed and commissioned by His Excellency, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN”.
“Indeed the need for additional courtrooms and increase in the number of judicial officers and magistrates in the Lagos State judiciary cannot be devoid of the peculiar status of Lagos State as economic capital of Nigeria and the busiest judiciary in Africa.”
The Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye had in his welcome address said the court house named after the retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Samuel Ilori has 22 courtrooms and chambers, reading rooms and library, 53 toilets, a generator house and other facilities.
The honoree, Retired Justice Samuel Ilori who was present at the commissioning, expressed his gratitude to the state for naming the beautiful court house after him, saying he believes he is reaping from the little seed he sowed while serving the state.
“At the time you decided to name this court after me, I am sure you are not aware of my historical connection with this land. The small seed I sowed that time has come back as this court house, and I thank you for naming it after me.
“When I became the chief judge, I had a policy then that whatever post you hold has an expiry date, so whatever you can do within the period, to leave your name as a blessing to people you work for, you must do it before the expiry date.”, he stated.
The Governor later cut the ribbon to declare open the new Court House at the ceremony which also had in attendance some members of the State Executive Council including the Deputy Governor, Hon(Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed and Special Adviser on Environment, Dr Taofik Folami, Judges and Magistrates in the State as well as lawyers.