Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has blamed the corruption in the judiciary in recent times on the challenges arising from the incursion of strange elements into the nation’s legal system.
Mr Akeredolu said this on Monday during the swearing-in ceremony of four judges of the state High Court in Akure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four judges are Bamidele Olupitan, Olajide Abe, Ademola Enikuomehin and Tope Adedipe.
The governor said it was sad to note that even judicial officers at the appellate courts were not immune from the malady of corruption.
“The average citizen must be able to perceive the intervention of the Bench as credible regardless of the outcome. Litigants must leave, believing that justice has been done.
“A judge must be a shining light to the society since his conduct and behaviour reflect the public image of the judiciary.
“The future of the judiciary and indeed the nation depends, to a large extent, on how our judges perform their duties, effectively,” he said.
According to the governor, since judges decide the fates of the citizens, there is a need for them to be decent, professionally disciplined and incorruptible to achieve a better society.
Earlier, Olutoyin Akeredolu, the Chief Judge of the state, commended the governor and the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, for their positive interest in the affairs of the judiciary.
Mrs Akeredolu equally lauded the governor for his commitment to the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary and urged the new judges to brace up for the task ahead.
She further solicited for more support from the state government, especially in the appointment of more judges, magistrates, personnel of the Customary Court and other staff to fill the yawning gap.
Responding on behalf of others, Mr Olupitan expressed gratitude to the state government for the opportunity to serve and promised to influence the judiciary positively.
He assured the governor that the new judges would justify the confidence reposed in them, noting that they were conscious of the onerous task ahead of them.