Her Lordship, Justice Ayotunde Ayomide Phillips, the Chief Judge of Lagos State and Hon. Justice Funmilayo Olajumoke Atilade, the Head Judge of the Lagos Division of the State High Court, will be making history on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
On that day, Justice Ayotunde Phillips will be stepping down as the Chief Judge of Lagos State while her immediate younger sister will step in. Such as never happened in the history of the judiciary in Nigeria.
Justice Ayotunde Phillips, who became the 14th Chief Judge of Lagos State and the 4th female to occupy the office, will be 65, the statutory retirement age for Judges in Lagos. On that Saturday, July 26, 2014, and therefore will be stepping down to allow her younger sister, Justice Funmilayo Atilade, who is 62 and the next in rank to her in the hierarchy of the judiciary in Lagos State, to step in.
Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips and Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade are the first and second children respectively of the four children of late Hon. Justice James Williams, who himself was a judge in Lagos State and late Mrs. Henrietta Williams.
When Justice Funmilayo Atilade takes over as the new Chief Judge of Lagos State, she will be the 15th judge and 5th female to occupy that office.
The first female Chief Judge of Lagos State was Justice Rosaline Omotosho, who occupied the office between 1995 and 1996. She was followed by Ibitola Sotiminu, who was there between 2001 and 2004.
Justice Inimidun Akande followed in 2009 and retired on June 10, 2012, when the outgoing Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips took over as the 14th Chief Judge and 4th female to occupy the office.
– TOLANI ABATTI