Fayemi swears in Acting Chief Judge, wants special focus on sexual crimes

Written by on May 31, 2021

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday called on the judiciary to accord special attention to issues of rape and sexual assault.

Fayemi said critical and decisive action on the social malaise has become necessary as a result of the increasing cases of rape and defilement flooding the courts in
recent times.

Fayemi spoke in Ado Ekiti on Monday while swearing-in Justice John Oyewole Adeyeye as the Acting Chief Judge of the state to replace Justice Ayodeji Daramola, who
bowed out from the bench last week.

The governor also called for the review of salaries and allowances of judicial workers to protect the sanctity of the judiciary, saying he was jolted that the negotiations on
judicial autonomy seem to have left out the issue of salaries and allowances of judicial officers.

Expressing disgust at the increasing spate of sexual assault cases in courts, Fayemi said: “Your Lordship is uniquely positioned to have observed in recent times the
increase in matters of rape and child defilement in our courts.

My administration has enacted laws and enabled several policies aimed at reversing this scourge. “Among others, we have opened a register for sex offenders and we
now publicly name and shame convicted sex offenders.

I know that achieving the conviction of a sex offender is the outcome of proper investigation and diligent prosecution. “Strengthening and supporting the capacity of the
Nigeria Police and the Ministry of Justice to enable sustainable convictions of sex offenders are priority goals of our zero-tolerance policy against all forms of sexual
violence.

“Permit me My Lords to add that the Judiciary also has an important role in our advocacy against sexual violence. Indeed My Lords, if there was ever a time when
judicial activism is required on any matter, that time is now.

“I am respectful of the opinion that our courts can and should go beyond the applicable law to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions in matters of
sexual violence in this state.

I strongly urge Your Lordships to review the rules and court procedures in a manner that will ensure the prioritisation and speedy consideration of matters of sexual
violence”. Fayemi regretted how the review of judicial staff salaries and allowances were neglected by the National Judicial Council and Judiciary Staff Union of
Nigeria(JUSUN) in their negotiations with the Federal and State governments.

“I am aware that between 1999 till date, the Federal Government reviewed the salaries and allowances of Public Servants and Political officeholders on four occasions
specifically in 2000, 2005, 2007 and 2011.

“However, the salaries of judicial officers were only reviewed twice during the same period. As a result judicial officers have been on the same salary structure for more
than 10 years. It may now be necessary for the NJC to provide leadership on possible renewed negotiations on this issue as part of a holistic discussion on judicial
autonomy”, he stated.

Fayemi applauded and recognised the immense contributions of the retired Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola to the development of the justice sector in Ekiti State.



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