Against the backdrop of the death of Chief of both Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana and President of the Customary Court of Appeal Justice Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga, the Kogi state governor Governor Yahaya Bello of on Wednesday swore in Justice Henry Olusuyi and Justice Bayo Olowosegun as Acting Chief Judge and President Customary Court Appeal of the state respectively.

In an elaborate ceremony held in the government House Lokoja, the governor told the Judges to execute their duties with the fear of God.

The governor also urged them to emulate the late Ajanah and Atadoga; who he said served the state and the judiciary with the best of their ability.

The Governor said, “I welcome everyone to this sober but momentous event. It is only proper that we continue to recognise and pay tribute to two extraordinary gentlemen who inspired us in their lives and left us severely diminished by their deaths. It is their passing which has necessitated these proceedings.

“We lost the Honourable Justice Nasir Ajanah, the former Chief Judge of Kogi State and the Honourable Justice Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga, the former President of the Kogi State Customary Court of Appeal within one week of each other. The shock has been profound, both for the state and for those left to mourn them.

“Justice Nasir Ajanah was the longest serving Chief Judge in the history of Kogi State. He served during the tenures of three Governors. He was a brilliant legal mind distinguished by a massive wealth of experience. He piloted the Kogi State Judiciary with a firm hand, and defended the independence of the Judiciary and the doctrine of Separation of Powers as he saw fit, irrespective of any differences of opinion.

“Justice Shuaibu Atadoga was on his part a workaholic judge who set stellar standards of excellence in the practice of his profession. He inspired reforms, including amendments to the enabling law which greatly expanded the roles of the Customary Court. It is no wonder that he was so effective as President of the Kogi State Customary Court of Appeal.

“In tribute, I am proud to say that the late Justice Ajanah and the late Justice Atadoga both teach us that selfless service to society is how to become immortal in the hearts of your fellow men. They achieved a legacy that will long outlive them. May the good works of their lordships speak for them in eternity and may their gentle souls continue to rest in peace.

“It now remains to enjoin the head of the Kogi State Judiciary and the President of the Customary Court of Appeal of Kogi State, both of whom we have just sworn in, to bring their considerable history as experienced jurists to bear in the administration of justice in this state. We have no doubt that they will provide excellent leadership for our Judiciary and the state in general. We therefore charge them to execute all the functions of their respective offices with erudition and the fear of Almighty God.

“Let me conclude by reiterating something I have said over and over again since the Covid-19 situation was thrust upon the world.

“Nothing is altogether new under the sun. Whether the coronavirus or CoviD-19 or SARS-COV2 is natural or artificial and whether it came out of China or elsewhere, and whether by happenstance or hostile action, we need an evolving synergy between Science and common sense to defeat the pandemic,” he advised.

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