History was made in Lagos State on Wednesday as Governor Babatunde Fashola swore in Justice Funmilayo Atilade, the younger sister of the immediate past chief judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, as the new chief judge of the state.
Sixty-two year old Atilade, who took her oath of office at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Lagos state Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, is the fifth woman to serve in that capacity and the 15th chief judge of the state.
It was also the first time in the judicial history of the state that siblings would succeed each other.
The older Justice Phillips had held the position for two years before retiring on July 26, 2014 after attaining the statutory retirement age of 65.
In his remarks, Governor Fashola urged the new chief judge to adhere strictly to the rule of law in the discharge her duties, noting that the retired chief judge kept her promises by reforming the state judiciary to pave way for the e-filing system, which he said is the first in Nigeria.
Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said Justice Atilade was strongly recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) and her appointment was also reviewed by the state assembly and she was found worthy.
Our correspondent reports that the immediate past Chief Judge and her successor are both daughters of the late Justice James Williams, who was a judge in Lagos State and the late Mrs. Henrietta Williams.
Until her recent appointment, Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade was a High Court Judge.