Don’t condemn the poor or acquit the guilty – bishop tells judges.


By Ngozi Njoku

The  Anglican Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Rt. Rev. Ifedola Okupevi, on Monday called on judicial officers to reflect the fear of God in their judgments by not denying or delaying justice.

“Do not deny justice to poor people. Have nothing to do with false charges and do not put an innocent or honest person to death.

“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong,” the bishop said during a special thanksgiving service to mark the beginning of the 2023/2024 Legal Year of Lagos State Judiciary.

The event held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina.

The cleric also urged judicial officers not to acquit the guilty.

“Do not accept bribe, for bribe blinds those who see and twist the words of the innocent.

“Help us to curtail rape, divorce and violence from the society,” he added.

The cleric also called on the state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to rule with equity.

In his address, Sanwo-Olu charged the state judiciary to serve justice even in the most trying times.

He said: “The dedication of our legal community has ensured that justice continues to be served even in the most trying times.

“Therefore, I urge you all to continue in this line, bearing in mind the work you do for the smooth functioning of our society.”

He called for collaboration between the executive, legislative and judicial arms of the state government.

“Building the Lagos State of our dream requires that all hands should be on deck,” he said.

The governor promised more support for the judiciary from the executive arm.

He said, “We will do everything within our powers to make the environment conducive, to enable you to discharge your duties without fear or favour.” (NAN)