Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said that the harmonious working relationship between the state executive and the judiciary had contributed to the rapid development of the state.
The governor made the remark when the state Chief Judge, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, led other senior judges and magistrates in the state on a courtesy call to his office at Lagos House, Ikeja.
Mrs Atilade visited Ambode to officially notify the governor of her impending retirement as the chief judge on September 22.
“The cordial relationship between the judiciary and the executive arm of government has really put Lagos State on the pedestal of prosperity.
“It has been a fantastic relationship with you as the chief judge, especially in the areas of security and judicial sector reforms.
“We have achieved so much together in these areas as there has been peaceful coexistence among residents.
“We have also increased the number of judges and magistrates for effective judicial functions in the last two years of my administration as governor. I commend the judiciary under your tenure.
“You have been totally confident and independent in your operations and it has continued to make the state a pacesetter in terms of how the judiciary should operate,’’ Mr Ambode said.
The governor promised to improve welfare packages for retired judges in the state, saying that they could still contribute their experience and expertise to the service of the state.
“I promise that the welfare of retired judges will be improved. They can still be called upon to serve the state and continue to contribute their wealth of experience and expertise for the state’s development.
“I appeal for continuity in the judiciary. Reforms in the judicial sector is continuous and the government is committed to boosting the capacity of the state judiciary,’’ he said.
Earlier, Atilade thanked Mr Ambode for his commitment to improving the operations of the judiciary in the state during her tenure as chief judge.
She appealed for an increment in the running cost of the judiciary for efficiency.
Mrs Atilade said that she had spent 15 years at the lower bench as a magistrate and 21 years as a judge of the high court, adding that she assumed the position of the chief judge of the state three years ago.
“I retire this week having reached the statutory age of 65 which falls on Sunday, Sept. 24.
“Therefore, Friday, September 22, will be my last day in office and I cannot leave office without saying goodbye.
“On behalf of the state judiciary, I want to thank the governor for all his efforts in ensuring an effective judiciary in the state.
“I pray that the cordial relationship among the three arms of government continues and becomes even better.
“I will like to make an appeal that the running cost of the judiciary be increased because we are really just managing to get by. Please consider that even after my departure,’’ the soon-to-retire chief judge said.
Justice Atilade assumed office as the Chief Judge of Lagos State on August 20, 2014.