No Full Annual Vacation For Judges In Lagos – Justice Kareem Alogba

*Recounts EndSARS Protests Trauma

Lagos Chief Judge, Justice Kareem Alogba on Friday said that Judges of the high court of Lagos State will not go on a long vacation this year.

He said they would be allowed to go on four weeks vacation.

By procedural rules of high court, the long vacation of judges of Lagos Judiciary lasts about eight weeks and is usually fixed for between July and September each year.

Justice Alogba said this while speaking at the Valedictory Court Session held in honour of Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson who retired from the Lagos Bench June 27 having attained the mandatory retirement age of 65.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Chief Bolaji Ayorinde had in a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad and the National Judicial Council (NJC) suggested a cancellation of long vacation for judges nationwide to enable courts clear the backlog of cases in their dockets which piled up over time.

Ayorinde stated that the suspension is necessary in the interest of those who are languishing in detention and awaiting trial.

He also stated that many cases have suffered inordinate delay due to ENDSARS protests, Covid-19 pandemic and the recently suspended strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

Justice Alogba argued that even during the pandemic most Magistrate’s courts in the state were sitting while judges were delivering judgements virtually.

He also noted that during the #EndSARS protest quite a number of the judges watch their properties being burnt by protesters at Lagos High Court, Igbosere.

“The trauma is still there with us. You can’t imagine how it would affect the psyche. Our Judges were under a lot of trauma. We would not take full vacation. But we would go for four weeks. The reason for going on vacation is not from arrogant position but from informed position.

“We would go on a brief vacation and come back refreshed to take on the task ahead”, he said, noting that it was only on Thursday that Lagos state government handed over the new Osbourne Road, Ikoyi Court House to the state judiciary.

The retiree, Justice Candide-Johnson, in his appreciation said he was satisfied and fulfilled as he goes into retirement.

He said: “For some, the fear of NJC was the beginning of wisdom. For me, it is not, once you have served faithfully and dispensed justice without fear or favour. ”

He thanked the judiciary for the opportunity to serve on the bench and his colleagues for their support.

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