The Chief Judge of Ogun, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, on Thursday, said the role of the judiciary was crucial to societal development in order to sustain an effective democratic setting.
Dipeolu, who stated this at the 12th public lecture of the Bar and Bench in Abeokuta, said this was due to judiciary’s function as the watchdog of society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture had the theme “The Role of the Judiciary in Democratic Government: A Social Engineering or Quagmire”.
Dipeolu noted that the role of the judiciary was very important in a democratic government, saying “judges play a vital role in the effective protection of human rights.
“It is essential for good governance to have a formidable judiciary. It ultimately contributes to nation-building, because it stands as the watchdog of the society and does not allow the hope of common men to be lost.”
She also pointed out that democracy and human rights were related as there could not be human rights without democracy and vice-versa
Dipeolu then submitted that a state that respects the rule of law has the best chance of survival in democracy while those without the rule of law are not democratic.
The Chief Judge added that the absence of rule of law provides avenues for inequality, manipulation, as well as marginalisation.
She however said that the role of the judiciary in democratic government could not be discussed without the duty of lawyers.
”Citizens who were rightly advised by their counsel and cautioned to respect the law will not dare to disrespect it,” Dipeolu said.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the forum, Prof. Olanrewaju Onadeko, described the theme of the lecture as relevant as it was chosen at the right time.
Onadeko, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), commended the Judiciary in Ogun for the role played in giving hope to the common man.
He also described the state judiciary, as well as the Ministry of Justice, as one of the best in the history of the nation.
”We must appreciate the efforts of the Chief Judge for keeping the flag flying high, and you should all not relent.”
On his part, Mr Ebun Adegboruwa, who was the guest speaker, said the judiciary was a guardian in a democratic state.
”It is the final hope of the ordinary man as it guarantees equal access to justice with equity.
“The judiciary ensures that judgments were given out in accordance with the dictates of law and facts presented in court.
”The institutional duty of administering justice should be carried out impartially and without fear or favour,” Adegboruwa, who is also a SAN, said