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New Lagos CJ insists on death penalty for killers


Justice Opeyemi Oke

Justice Opeyemi Oke who was confirmed as Chief Justice of the State yesterday has voiced preference for the death penalty, saying the punishment would serve as deterrent.

During a plenary where she fielded questions from legislators at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Oke unequivocally stated: “Those who kill others should be killed. I challenge state governors to sign death warrants, so that people would be discouraged from killing others. I am for the death penalty.”

She expressed dissatisfaction with delays in the justice system, accusing some lawyers of being “culpable”. She promised to make tackling the problem a focus of her tenure. According to her, “it is part of what I want to work on. We would have policies on this. And our judges are ready if others are.”


With her appointment, Oke becomes the third successive female Chief Justice of the state, after Justice Ayotunde Phillips and Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade. She had served in acting capacity since September 21, following Atilade’s retirement.

“Most students go into drug abuse due to peer group influence. Awareness would be created on this and we would work in conjunction with the executive and the legislature,” Oke said.

She acknowledged that the huge population of the state was putting great strain on the dispensation of justice, promising that efforts would be made to accelerate cases.

Born in 1954, Oke studied law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and the Nigerian Law School. She worked briefly at her father’s chamber, Okesanya and Okesanya & Co., and proceeded to the United States of America for a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration, specialising in Criminology and Juvenile delinquency.

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