“My mission is to leave a judiciary where litigants will come and when you lose a case, you will be leaving the court smiling and be able to say to yourself, yes, I lost the case, not because of corruption but because I have a bad case,.” The above were the exact words of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke while responding to questions from newsmen when judiciary workers swore to oath of secrecy and allegiance at the High Court in Ikeja,
The Chief Judge also stated that the same set of rules, regulations and allegiance that apply to judges also apply to those who work with them.
She said it was imperative for support staff to know that they are bound by some set of rules that bind judges.
She also stated that the exercise was intended to bring dignity to the workers in the judiciary such that litigants would have respect for them.
She said the judiciary as an institution, which deals with justice delivery, has very important documents that must be kept sacred and which cannot be allowed to be toyed with.
Justice Oke enunciated that the oath taking was introduced because the judiciary has received series of “petitions and complaints about judgments leaking out, certain exhibits missing and so on.
“So, this is to prevent that and secondly and most importantly, it is a way of also curbing corruption. When you have your oath taking, you know the implications of your action and every action also has a resultant effect. If you violate that, you know what the resultant effect of that will be,”she maintained.
Justice Oke lamented that corruption has eaten deep into so many establishments “and we are determined in the Lagos State Judiciary to make a difference”.
She said: “It is a new year. It is a new dawn and we want to make a difference. So, it is a joint effort and it is necessary, it is a very fundamental exercise that will help the image of the Lagos State Judiciary and to have more confidence from the public that we serve because we are service providers.”
Justice Oke reiterated that she has a mission to leave behind a judiciary that”every Lagosian, every Nigerian can be proud of, judiciary that can stand shoulder to shoulder with others and foremost judiciary around the world.