Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has inaugurated Justice Henry Adebola Olusiyi as the acting Chief Judge of the state following the demise of the immediate past Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, on June 28.
The governor also has sworn-in Justice Bayo Olowosegun as the acting President of the state Customary Court of Appeal following the vacuum created by the death of the immediate past President, Justice Ibrahim Atadoga, on June 22.
Bello, speaking at the ceremony on Wednesday in Lokoja, said the inauguration of the justices followed their appointments on July 3, being the most senior judges in the courts to fill the vacuum created by the demise of the late jurists.
He said: “Kogi is indeed fortunate to have found worthy successors in the persons of the two Lawlords, to whom we have entrusted the high offices and responsibilities of the previous occupants.
“I am empowered by Section 271(4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) to appoint the most senior judge in our judiciary as the Chief Judge of Kogi if the office becomes vacant for any reason, including death.
“I exercised that power on the 3rd day of July, 2020 to appoint the Honourable Justice Henry Adebola Olusiyi as the Chief Judge of Kogi.”
Bello said Section 281(4) and (5) of the Constitution similarly granted him powers which he exercised in appointing Olowosegun into office as the President of the state Customary Court of Appeal on July 3, following the death of his predecessor in office.
Bello advised the newly appointed heads of the two courts to bring their “considerable history as experienced jurists” to bear in the administration of justice in the state.
He said that he had no doubt that they would provide excellent leadership for the 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,” he said.
In their post-inaugural speech, Olusiyi, speaking on behalf of Olowosegun and himself, expressed gratitude to Bello for acting fast and timely to fill the vacant positions created by the sudden demise of “our great leaders in judiciary.”
He thanked the governor for his disposition toward the affairs of the judiciary and pledged that they would continue to discharge their best within the ambit of the law in the administration of justice and uphold the tenets of the oath taken.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the acting CJ, Olusuyi, a 1978 law graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was born in January 1956 and hails from Igbaruku-Okeri in Yagba-West Local Government Area of Kogi State.