On Monday, September 25, 2017, a new Chief Judge of Lagos state was sworn in by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. The new Chief Judge is Hon Justice Olufunmilayo Opeyemi Oke, who until her appointment, was the defacto deputy Chief Judge in charge of Lagos Division of Lagos State Judiciary.
Mrs Oke succeeded Hon Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade who retired statutorily on Sunday, September 24, 2017, when she turned 65.
Hon Justice Opeyemi Oke started her professional legal career in 1979 as a counsel at Otesanya & Otesanya (her father’s law chambers) after graduating from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile- Ife and Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1978 and 1979 respectively.
She later left the shores of the country for United States of America to hone her professional skills. In America, she was at Coppin State College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where she bagged Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice in 1982. She came out in flying colours with First Class Honours .
She worked briefly at Maryland State Parole and Probate Department in USA before coming back to Nigeria to join Federal Housing Authority (FHA) as Legal Officer from 1982 – 1986.
In 1986, she transfered her service to Lagos State government where she was appointed Senior Magistrate in the state judiciary.
She later became the Deputy Registrar Magistrate Court from 1993 – 1994.
In 1994, she was made Chief Magistrate Grade 1, a position she held until her appointment in July 19, 1996 as a judge of High Court of Lagos.
In 2014, she became the de facto deputy chief judge of Lagos State by virtue of being the next in hierarchy to the chief judge and she was in charge of Lagos division.
Hon Justice Opeyemi Oke will be in acting capacity as the chief judge pending her approval by the Nigerian Judiciary Commission (NJC).
She will be the 16th Chief Judge of Lagos state and the 6th female Chief Judge to be appointed so.
Her tenure will certainly be short lived because she will cross the mandatory retirement age (65) for judges on June 10, 2019.
She is married to Mr Akinyele Oke, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Florett Nigeria Ltd.
Their marriage which was consummated in 1979 is blessed with three children.
– Tolani Abatti for encomium.ng