The Chief Judge of Lagos State Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke has accused the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State of carting away furniture in the Chief Judge’s office and official residence and replacing them with old and dilapidated ones. The Chief Judge also accused the past administration of mismanaging over N200 million.
Justice Oke made the above revelations while speaking with the National Convener of the Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ) Mr. Bayo Akinlade who was on a courtesy call to the Chief Judge to present the FIACIJ’s action plan on the eradication of corruption in the Judiciary.
The Chief judge who since the inception of her administration gave the indication that it would no longer be business as usual was speaking against the backdrop of an allegation by a Youth Corp Member that the sum of N66 million was used to ‘clean’ the Chief Judge’s office while Youth Corp members in the State Judiciary where being owed outstanding salaries.
Describing the allegation by the Corp Member as a diversionary tactics by her predecessor, the Hon. Chief Judge explained that she had nothing to do with the contractors or any funds regarding the maintenance of Her Lordship’s Chambers. She explained that all the furniture purchased prior to her becoming the Chief Judge were taken away by her predecessor and replaced with old and worn out furniture. In response to the work done at her official quarters, the Chief Judge noted that she has not been to the house to access the extent of work done.
She further revealed that contrary to the above allegation; about 200m was mismanaged by the past administration with over 24 million alleged pent on a valedictory session.
With respect to the allegation of non-payment of salary by the Corp member, the Chief Judge noted that information from the Lagos State Judiciary Account Department revealed otherwise. Speaking further, she noted that some official cars were missing while almost all the departments of the Lagos State Judiciary were making returns to her predecessor which led to the suspension of about 3 staff of the Lagos Judiciary cash office.
Corroborating the stance of the Chief Judge, Mr. Bayo Akinlade revealed that the said Youth Corp member has refused to respond to messages sent to him to confirm the allegation against the Chief Judge. In his words “Till date, we have not received any word from those who first made the allegations.
“We have left messages for them but no response. We have also not received any anonymous messages supporting the allegations”
“Our conclusion therefore, in the absence of any other information contrary to what we have heard directly from the current Chief judge is that the allegations were false, calculated to undermine the Chief Judge’s stand against corruption.”
Mr. Akinlade also confirmed that preparations have been concluded for the formal endorsement of the FIACIJ’s Anti-Corruption Flyers. “We presented copies of the FIACIJ flyers to the CJ who promises to circulate amongst her staff and all judiciary officers.”
“Her Lordship is also going to call a press conference later in the month to publicly endorse the flyer and encourage all lawyers and litigants to stop offering bribes and be bold enough to report any erring judicial staff or officer.”
Reported with the kind permission of the National Convener FIACIJ