Being the keynote address by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the Justice Day 2022 Celebration on Thursday, November 17, 2022
Let me welcome you again to this Justice Day 2022 Celebration. This event is indeed significant not just to the Ministry of Justice, which is under the Executive arm of government but to the Judiciary as a whole, which is an independent arm of government.
As noted, this event is three in one. First, we will be unveiling the Attorneys General of Oyo State Pantheon. We always talk about the importance of history to our people. And so, when lawyers and judges walk through this room, they are reminded of those who came before them and what they represent.
I know how important having heroes, mentors or role models are to the younger generation. So, this pantheon is a great addition to the Ministry of Justice. I can recognise some names and faces on these portraits. I am proud to see our Deputy Governor, Barrister Barrister Abdulraheem Adebayo Adeleke Lawal, here.
Next, we will have a presentation of law officers’ alternative dress code. I hear there has been a huge debate among law officers and how they should dress. Of course, the traditional wig and gown remains. But sometimes, our law officers want to look different. I am happy that our Ministry of Justice is already thinking about this future. And so, this alternative attire is also significant.
The final part of this event is the public presentation of the Pacesetter Law Journal. This law journal contains cases that have been decided, papers and other reports that will be useful to those who practice within the judicial system. Again, we need precedents memorialised, and the law journal will do that. I believe this will be more than a one-off.
It is also remarkable that this event is tagged ‘justice for all, all for justice’. So, an unstated part of this celebration is highlighting the concept of justice and bringing it closer to citizens.
We know that in our country, people are not very happy going to court. They think it is a time waste, and so they try to seek alternative means of getting justice. But here in Oyo State, we are trying to leave a legacy whereby the judicial system is less intimidating to the common man. And so, the things happening here today are tied into that theme.
For example, people who read the law journal would know through precedents how the judge might likely rule in a similar case or even decide if they want to challenge the status quo and how they can do so.
I have always admired lawyers’ ability to make solid and logical arguments – well, most lawyers. And you know that we always say that one of the factors that our administration uses to determine decisions in Oyo State is logic.
And so, based on logic, we figured that one of the things we needed to do to reform the judicial system was to ensure the independence of the Judiciary in Oyo State. We signed the Financial Autonomy Bill into law for the Judiciary in December 2021. As we all know, the Judiciary is the last hope of the common man.
And so, since last year, the funding for Judiciary is now a first-line charge from FAAC. But what this means is that when FAAC payments are delayed, payments to the Judiciary are also delayed.
Another very important aspect we have pursued is looking into the infrastructure in the Judiciary to ensure that our judicial officers are working in a conducive environment to facilitate the quicker dispensation of justice.
As you may already know, we have awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the High Court Complex at Ring Road, including the construction of a new amphitheatre, as well as the reconstruction of the Magistrate Court Complex at Iyaganku, which includes the completion of the Customary Court.
Let me thank you once again for inviting me to be part of this event. I know that with our Attorney General, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo driving it, this will be a grand event.
Thank you and God bless you.
November 17, 2022