Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday said he would not leave salaries of workers unpaid, just as he gave the assurance that all projects being executed by his administration would be completed before leaving office.
He stated this in Ado-Ekiti while laying the foundation of a new High Court complex.
The governor also slammed the Department of State Security Service for invading judges’ residences at night, saying it was a bad omen.
”We are embarking on this project because we know the judiciary as an arm of government deserves respect and due recognition and judicial officers must also be given the necessary support and provided with the wherewithal to work with. By the grace of God, this project will be completed in the next one year.
“When there is a will, there is always a way. We have the vision of a virile judiciary and we will also go ahead to build a magistrates complex after this one. I am also optimistic that the project will be completed on time. We won’t leave any project uncompleted. I am also saying that by God’s grace, we won’t leave any salary unpaid and in the spirit of the celebration of our second anniversary, we will pay one month salary next week,” he said.
The governor also promised that the state government would implement the Magistrates Court Law and called on the leadership of the judiciary to support the efforts by cooperating with the executive arm of government.
On the raid on judges’ residence, Fayose said the Federal Government should stop labelling others thieves and corrupt.
He opined that even if the affected judges stole the whole world, due process must be followed in bringing them to justice.
“If we do not allow for due process, the DSS would soon descend on other arms of government and innocent people. They may soon descend on the media and others because of the feelings that they are not doing their biddings. I won’t approach any judge for assistance or to subvert justice in any way whatsoever,” he said.
In his speech, foremost lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said even if the judges were found to have done something offensive, the normal thing was to report them to the National Judicial Council for disciplinary action.
“You don’t take a sitting judge to court and even the law stipulates that no court process can be served after 7pm. It is when the judges are sacked that you take them to court for prosecution. We are not opposed to the fight against corruption, but that due process must be followed,” he said.
On the new complex, Babalola thanked Fayose for deeming it fit to embark on it despite the lean resources at the disposal of the government.
The first Chief Judge of the state, who is now the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaiye, said it was a great honour that Fayose was naming the edifice after him.
The Commissioner for Justice, Mr Owoseni Ajayi, said the project would help make the work of the judicial officers more comfortable.