…As LASG hosts State Dinner in their honour
The Lagos State Government on Friday honoured two Justices of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Bode Rhodes- Vivour and Hon. Justice Kudirat Kekere- Ekun, with the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) expressing the confidence that in the true tradition of Lagos as a State of Excellence, anyone who comes before them will get justice.
The Governor who spoke at a State Dinner held in honour of both Justices who are indigenes of the state at the City Hall, Lagos said he knows both Judges personally and professionally and is very confident that they will not let the state down.
He reiterated that the two Supreme Court Justices are not only Ambassadors of Lagos State but Ambassadors of the country whom all manner of men will come before in the pursuit of justice whenever they sit on the apex bench of the Supreme Court.
“I hope that in the near future, we will be able to reach out to some of your wise judgments. You are going out there to serve us at a time when the country needs direction, when some of us are looking for a new Constitution and when really the constitution is only a mere form. The new Constitution will take meaning when the true intent and purport comes before you and you will determine whether or not that was what the makers intended to say”, he added
While describing the occasion as a great moment for Lagos State, the Governor said it is coming at a time when leadership has become not only a national subject for Nigerians but a global subject for everyone, adding that it is however gladdening that some of the great leaders of Nigeria are indeed gathered at the occasion in Lagos.
The Governor said beyond that, the event represents the first time that the Lagos State Government has honoured serving Justices of the Supreme Court, explaining that the only other time was when Justice George Oguntade who left the Supreme Court in honour and in glory was honoured.
According to the Governor, the credit for the event must go the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon Justice Ayotunde Philips who conceived the idea of hosting the two Justices who are of Lagos origin to a dinner reception.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Judge of Lagos, Hon Justice Ayotunde Philip said the administration of Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has made members of the legal profession very proud of their profession and has made them proud of themselves while making them comfortable, stressing that they are very grateful for that.
Justice Philip said there is nothing like having a good reputation, of being honest, being upright, being diligent and being focused, noting that the two Justices of the Supreme Court have made members of the Bar and Bench in Lagos proud.
She added that she sees a bright future for the Nigerian judiciary with the elevation of the two Justices and that she has told them that they would be worked very hard in the Supreme Court because it is believed that once anyone comes from Lagos, you are the best of the club and the peak of the club.
“I am not bragging when I say we have the best set of justices in this country and I am very proud to be a member of this judiciary”, Justice Philip emphasized.
Also speaking, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaiye said in Lagos State, her values, her passion are always to strive for excellence adding that the state does not overlook those who attain it, as they are celebrated as the shinning starts and enduring beacon for those coming behind.
He said Lagos State is honoured to have two of her distinguished jurists who through hardwork, persistence and integrity have attained the much pivotal elevation to the Apex Court and is an occasion which calls for celebration.
In his response, Justice Bode Rhodes- Vivour (JSC) thanked the government and people for the show of love, saying it is indeed very rare to have two Justices from the same state in the Supreme Court, adding that it happened once in 1967 when Lagos had Justice Atanda Fatayi Williams and Justice Olawale Elias on the Supreme Court with both rising to become Chief Justices of Nigeria.
He said the judiciary has been strengthened with Governor Fashola at the helm and prayed that the state will continue to grow from strength to strength remaining the focal point for every state in Nigeria. Justice Kudirat Kekere- Ekun also expressed the hope that with the prayers and support of everyone and God’s guidance, they shall be worthy ambassadors of Lagos State and Nigeria.
The well attended event attracted dignitaries like members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr Enitan Oshodi, the Senator representing Lagos Central in the Senate, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and Sir Molade –Okoya Thomas, Judges, Magistrates on the Lagos Bench, legal practitioners and family members of the Supreme Court Justices.