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Sanwo-Olu restates commitment to rule of law as he bids Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa farewell

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Justice of Court of Appeal, Justice Abdu Aboki (left); President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Justice Mohammad Lawal and Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, during the visit of Bulkachuwa to the governor in Lagos… yesterday.

Hamzat charges traditional rulers on peaceful co-existence
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday said that his administration would not deviate from the tenet of constitutional democracy and that actions of the state government under his watch would be kept within the ambit of the law.

Besides, he said his government’s faith in the judicial system remained unshakable, adding that Lagos had been a beneficiary of the rule of law.

Sanwo-Olu spoke while receiving the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Marina.

Justice Bulkachuwa, who was accompanied by other justices of the Appeal Court, is retiring from the service after reaching the mandatory retirement period.

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The governor said Lagos would always stand on the good side of the law and that his administration would particularly stand in principle against actions that may undermine the independence of the court.

He said: “Government in Lagos State is committed to ensuring that we all live within the ambit of the law. We will continue to engage the judiciary as an independent arm of the government. All of us in the Executive arm will continue to uphold the tenet of the constitution that we swore to in our ways and deeds. We will not run foul of the law or any pronouncement of the court.”

Sanwo-Olu, who saluted the out-going Justice Bulkachuwa for her courage in driving far-reaching reforms in the Court of Appeal, said that her legacies would be a guiding light for members of the judiciary and officers in the other arms of government.

“We are happy that you are proceeding on retirement at this prime age. You are now 70 years old but you are looking like a 50-year-old woman. Glory to the Almighty Allah for the grace of youthful appearance and energy. You have had a wonderful career in the judiciary.”

Justice Bulkachuwa, in her response, said she would dedicate her retirement life to promoting girl-child education across the country, noting that she would not have achieved her potential had her father not given her a chance to go to school.

She was hopeful that the reforms and discipline she had instituted in the judiciary would be strengthened by the serving members, saying: “I will still be with my sisters and brother in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts. I have mentored so many young judicial officers and upcoming lawyers to carry on the legacies. I will still be part of the judicial system despite my retirement.”

Asked why she chose to visit Lagos Governor in her first valedictory visit to any elected official, Justice Bulkachuwa said it was in Lagos the first Court of Appeal was set up among the three divisions created in 1976.

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Besides, she said Lagos is playing pivotal roles in the administration of justice system, pointing out that majority of lawyers in the judiciary are serving in the state and that most of Appeal Court’s cases were being instituted in Lagos.

In a related vein, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, has urged traditional rulers to help the government in promoting rule of law and peaceful co-existence among communities to bring about national development and growth.

Hamzat, who spoke at a symposium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamorudeen Ishola Animashaun, yesterday, said the traditional institution plays useful roles in brokering peace between the people and the state, enhance national identity, resolving minor conflicts and others.

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