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Strengthening Our Democracy Through a Virile Judiciary, The GSM effect| By Giwa Yusuf

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Democracy according to its proponent was established on three main pillars with which it’s being operated, these pillars works hand in hand to ensure that the people are at the fore of every government decisions.

The pillars includes the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, meanwhile, there are always a large concentration of attention on the executive and the legislative arm of government, in fact a pool of funds expended on the management of our political institution are expended on the two, leaving the judiciary
in penury while they struggle to survive and uphold the integrity of our democracy.

Meanwhile having exhausted all available options, the judiciary is the last resort when clarity is needed or when there’s need for validation of any sort in our democracy, hence it remains the lifeline of our democracy that must be taken very serious.

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The decision of the court in any argument becomes the decision of the law, if not nullified by superior court, it must be obeyed to the last letter, hence, working condition of the judicial workers is very important in order to be in the right state of mind and displaying utmost integrity while delivering it’s verdict.

it is in this vein that the award of Six Billion, One Hundred Thousand Naira (6.01bn) to the remodelling of the Oyo State High Court Complex, Ring Road and the Magistrate Court at Iyaganku is adjudged to a right step in the direction by the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration of Oyo State.

The state High Court Complex at ring road was built by the old Oyo state government of Bola Ige between 1979-1983, the building was there on commissioned for use and since then there’s not been any form of renovation or repair in the facility as many items and facilities have been outdated and the building dilapidated and wears an unattractive look, especially to the judicial officer.

However, it is worthy of note that environment and aesthetics of working place goes a long way in enhancing worker efficiency, therefore, there would be an increased productivity in the work done when the project is delivered.

The remodelling also includes the provision of modern day facilities and electronics to help the judicial system of the state. Indeed, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration is working hard toward repositioning the state as a true pace setter.

There will be multiplicity effect of the project on our social, economic and political life in Oyo State .

While many felt the project isn’t neccesary, in fact some said it’s a waste of state resources, some say what’s the value of the court to the common man? there’s need for us to know that a good judicial system has effect on every individual in one way or the other.

On our social life,the court plays a huge role, especially in our marriage, when issues get to its peak in the family,the court is being consulted either to break or mediate between the couples, it takes only someone who’s in right state of mind to help manage other people’s relationship life.

A law officer who works in a nice environment wouldn’t mind to spend extra time in the office attending to people’s case just to held resolved whatever crisis they have.

On economic affairs, the court also play a vital in sealing official agreement and settling dispute amongst firms, in order to maintain a corrupt free judiciary, there’s need for availability of all necessary facilities to discharge their duties, on occasions where workers have to demand money from complainant or defendant to purchase items, corruption and subversion of justice is inevitable, so in order to maintain the integrity the judiciary, their working condition and environment needs to be improved.

Looking into political inclusiveness in our society, the court is the custodian of our democracy as it is the last decider of who becomes what and when, all political parties at one point or the other would consult the court to settle its internal affairs, most times about outcomes of election or the legality or illegality of a particular decision taken by the opposing side, the verdict of the court becomes binding on whosoever it is aimed at.

At times, election petitions are being fought up to supreme court level to decide the authentic winner and whosoever is pronounced is thereby backed with the state structure to his or her mandate, this is to the extent in which the court is important, it is therefore imperative that the facility with which such critical decision would be made be well equiped with required facilities and made accommodating for all staffs there in to uphold it’s integrity and sanctity.

GSM’s Commitment to an Independent Judiciary.

The Oyo state House of Assembly on 16th July, 2021 passed the financial autonomy bill for both state legislature and judiciary, thereby puting the legislature and the judiciary in charge of their financial affairs, this singular gesture goes a long way in delivering an uninterrupted service and independence of the legislature and the judiciary in the state.

As against the past where the legislature and Judiciary used to be at the mercy of the executives for their financial need, it’s now a different story, recall that in April 2021, all legislative and judiciary workers embarked on industrial action over lack of financial autonomy, the strike which last for some days was called of after governor’s agreed to work with their individual houses of Assembly to grant the autonomy, meanwhile since the strike has been called Oyo state is one of the few state that has acted as promised.

This was done to enhance the independence of the tiers of government and to ensure there’s no form of fear or favor in delivering their service to the people.

The No Carry Over initiative of Gov. Makinde.

One would observe that Governor Makinde administration is committed to ensure that all project started under his administration is completed withing the four years of his first term, as against the trick usually used by most politicians, they embark on project without plan to complete them during their first term, they appeal to voters to vote them again to be able to complete all ongoing projects, meanwhile, on occasions where they lost the second term bid, most of these project are left unattended to by the succeeding administration.

But under Makinde, it is a different ball game as all project are slated to be completed within the purview of his first four years in office, recall that the 76km Iseyin-Ogbomoso road was awarded to two contractors just to ensure that the project is delivered timely, same also applicable to the Independent Power Project and many others.

So also is the contract duration for the State High Court and Magistrate Court was also slated to be completed in within nine months, this time duration means that the project would be completed before April 2023.

Giwa Yusuf is a committed and unapologetic GSM Advocate for Good Governance and couod be reached on 08101356142

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