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Kudos for Ahmed over new Sharia Judge



Kudos for Ahmed over new Sharia Judge

Amidst pomp and pageantry, Justice Mas’ud Adebayo Oniye was at the weekend in Ilorin, Kwara State, sworn in as a Judge (Kadi) of the State Sharia Court of Appeal by Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed. Muritala Ayinla reports


The tempo of activities at the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin was unusually high at the weekend following a carnival-like swearing-in ceremony of Justice Mas’ud Adebayo Oniye as thousands of people within and outside the Ilorin metropolis, stormed the state seat of power to witness the colourful ceremony.

As early as 8:30a.m., dignitaries from all walks of life comprising retired and serving Judges and Kadis from the High Courts, Sharia Court of Appeal, Magistrate, Area and Customary courts in the state and other states had gathered to witness the swearing in and oath of office of a new judge for the Sharia Court of Appeal.

Other prominent personalities such as the traditional rulers, religious leaders, top government functionaries, legal luminaries, academia and other dignitaries also filled to capacity the state banquet hall – Ahamadu Ballo way, GRA, Ilorin, venue of the ceremony.
They had all come from far and near to rejoice and felicitate with the man, who they all described as one of the brightest state counsel who, having spent about two decades in the state Ministry of Justice, was elevated to becoming a judge in the state’s one of the revered and sacred courts, Sharia Court of Appeal.

The occasion was indeed the gathering of the legal minds from the Bar and the Bench and of course, a forum of the royal fathers as well as traditional institutions.
Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony, the Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed described the newly appointed Justice Oniye as symbol of integrity, honesty and fairness, saying those qualities were what the state government needed for the continued smooth dispensation of justice.

While congratulating the newly appointed judge for the appointment meritoriously deserved, Ahmed, charged him to continue to uphold the integrity and professionalism, which he said, qualified him for the appointment.
He assured that his administration would continue to support justice sector in order to maintain law and order in the state.

Ahmed said: “As some of you may know, Honourable Oniye has been symbol of integrity, honesty and uprightness. These qualities coupled with his leadership abilities led to his appointment today. Thus, on behalf of the people of Kwara State, I congratulate Honourable Oniye on this appointment and urge him to conduct himself at all time in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the court.

As we all know, the maintenance of law and order is fundamental to ensuring peace and development of any society.”
Responding, Justice Oniye, commended the governor for finding him worthy of the appointment, saying that he would do his utmost best to dispense justice without fear or favour and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He noted that his elevation was a clear indication of hope for the lawyers, who took appointment as state counsel that they would rise to the peak of their career by becoming judicial officials.

He said: “Before Your Excellency, in this hallow chamber, in front of this distinguished gathering and under the sanctity of oaths of allegiance and office as required by the Constitution, I promise, by God’s grace, to put in my utmost best like I have always done in the course of my career. I am mindful of the delicate and sensitive nature as well as the enormity of the position I have just been saddled with.”

Justice Oniye, however, appealed to the governor to appoint more justices in line with the tradition of the state Sharia Court of Appeal for speedy dispensation of justice.
According to him, “Your Excellency, let me at this juncture make a passionate appeal that more justices should be appointed for the court, as the traditional compliment of Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal used to be about 7 Justices. Presently, the court is composed of just 4 Justices. Hence, once more justices are appointed, the court will face head on the onerous task before it not only in earnest but also in panels.”

Earlier, the state’s Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Mrs Funsho Lawal explained that the appointee meritoriously deserved the position, adding that he went through the rigour of screening and test by the National Judicial Council in Abuja, the nation’s highest judicial body before he was approved.

Other dignitaries at the colourful ceremony included the father of the appointee who also is the 1st Makama of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Oniye, Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammed Bashir Soliu, State Grand Kadi, Justice Muhammed O. Abdulkadir, State Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman D. Kawu represented by Justice Mathew Adewara, Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmed, represented by Honourable Mathew Okedare and some former Chief Judges and Grand Kadis of the state, such as Justice Raliat Habeeb-Elelu (rtd) and Justice Abdulkadir Orire (rtd), the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, among others.

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