PICTURE- Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello flanked by the State Chief Judge, Justice Henry Olusiyi (Right) and Acting President of the State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Bayo Olowosegun (Left), shortly after the judges were sworn in on Wednesday at the Government House, Lokoja.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has sworn-in Justice Henry A. Olusiyi as the Chief Judge of Kogi State and Justice Bayo Olowosegun as the President of the Kogi State Customary Court of Appeal.
Performing the ceremony at the Government House, Lokoja on Wednesday, Bello said the decision was to fill the vacuum created by the recent deaths of the former State Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah and that of the Customary Court, Justice Shuaibu Atadoga.
He said Section 271(4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) empowered him to appoint the most senior judge the Judiciary as the Chief Judge of Kogi State if the office becomes vacant for any reason, including death.
“I exercised that power on the 3rd day of July, 2020 to appoint the Honourable Justice H.A Olusiyi as Chief Judge of Kogi State. We have now sworn him in.
“Similarly, section 281(4) and (5) of the Constitution grants me the powers, and I have exercised them via letter dated the same 3rd day of July, 2020 to appoint the Honourable Justice Bayo Olowosegun into office as the President of the Kogi State Customary Court of Appeal upon a vacancy occurring by death of his predecessor. My Lord is also the most senior judge of that court and he too was sworn in a while ago”, he said.
The governor while congratulating the new judges, urged them to bring their considerable history as experienced jurists to bear in the administration of justice in this state.
“We have no doubt that they will provide excellent leadership for our Judiciary and the state in general. We therefore charge them to execute all the functions of their respective offices with erudition and the fear of Almighty God”, he said.
Earlier, the governor took time to pay glowing tribute to the late former CJ, Justice Ajanah and that of Customary Appeal President, Shuaibu Atadoga, describing them as “extraordinary gentlemen who inspired us in their lives and left us severely diminished by their deaths”.
“In tribute, I am proud to say that the late Justice Ajanah and the late Justice Atadoga both teach us that selfless service to society is how to become immortal in the hearts of your fellow men.
“They achieved a legacy that will long outlive them. May the good works of their lordships speak for them in eternity and may their gentle souls continue to rest in peace”, he said.
The governor also used the opportunity to address his position on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let me conclude by reiterating something I have said over and over again since the Covid-19 situation was thrust upon the world. Nothing is altogether new under the sun. Whether the coronavirus or CoviD-19 or SARS-COV2 is natural or artificial and whether it came out of China or elsewhere, and whether by happenstance or hostile action, WE NEED AN EVOLVING SYNERGY BETWEEN SCIENCE AND COMMON SENSE, MEDICINE AND GOVERNANCE TO BEAT IT. That is the only way that citizens can find peace between the actual and the stated causes of death in a great number of cases”.
Governor Bello added that such synergy was the only way citizens could find peace between the actual and the stated causes of death in a great number of cases.
In his vote of thanks, the newly sworn in, Acting Chief Judge, Justice Henry Adebola Olusuyi thanked the Governor for being a Rule of law complaint and for providing a suitable environment for the judiciary to perform their responsibilities.
He on behalf of his counterpart assured that they would perform their responsibility with fairness, justice and equity while he pleaded for continued support and collaboration from all.