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Chief Justice Of Lagos Ayotunde Phillips Retires, Younger Sister Funmi Atilade To Replace Her

lagos chief judge retires

July 4th, 2014 – Chief Justice Of Lagos Ayotunde Phillips Retires, Younger Sister Funmi Atilade To Succeed Her

After 38 years in service, the Chief Judge of Lagos State Nigeria, Honourable Justice Ayotunde Ayomide Phillips is set to retire.

On the 26th of July, 2014, Phillips will retire. After 40 years post call to Bar, Phillips will soon clock 65, the statutory retirement age for Judges in Lagos.

Her younger sister, Justice Funmilayo Olajumoke Atilade, the Head Judge of the Lagos Division of the State High Court is expected to take her place. Justice Atilade, 62, is the next in rank to Justice Phillips in the hierarchy of the judiciary in Lagos State. It is imperative to note that this is a feat that has never been achieved before in the judicial history of Nigeria.

Ayotunde Phillips

Ayotunde Phillips

Funmilayo (left), Ayotunde (R)

Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips and Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade are the first and second children respectively of the four children of late Hon. Justice James Williams, who himself was a judge in Lagos State and late Mrs. Henrietta Williams.
The affable Lagos Chief Judge is so excited about her retirement, and she is leaving no stone unturned in making the day a most remarkable one in her life. Last weekend, The

ELITES gathered that Justice Phillips hosted a dinner to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her Call to the Bar. The dinner was held at The Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Justice Phillips, who was sworn in by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, in July 2012, is the 14thChief Judge of Lagos State and the fourth woman to serve in that capacity. She succeeded Justice Inumidun Akande, who retired after attaining the statutory retirement age of 65.

ustice Phillips, no doubt made a strong impact during her tenure. Known to be a reformist and a fearless judge, the Lagos State Judiciary witnessed many positive reforms under her tenure.

Phillips was born on July 26, 1949 in London, United Kingdom, Justice Phillips spent the first 10 years of her life in the UK, where she attended primary school and returned to Nigeria to continue her primary education at the Ladi-Lak Institute, Yaba, Lagos.
In January 1962, she was admitted into Queens College, Yaba, Lagos and obtained her West African School Certificate in 1966. She proceeded to Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan and was awarded the Higher School Certificate in 1968. Phillips gained admission into the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba and graduated with LL.B (honours) in June 1973. In 1974, she was called to the Nigerian Bar and performed her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme as a pupil counsel at the Enugu State Ministry of Justice from June 1974 to June 1975.
Her working career began at the Chambers of the late Kehinde Sofola (SAN) from November 1975 to September 1976 where she worked as a junior. That same year, she took employment as a Legal Officer at the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) and rose through the ranks to become its Secretary/Legal Adviser.

In 1990, she transferred to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and was elevated to the position of a High Court Judge in 1994. She is married to Mr Folorunsho Phillips with children

[Reported By ELITES]



  1. Prophet Gbenga Rotimi"KINI IWO NFE"

    July 4, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    They will live long to make the history more and more in jesus name(AMEN).

  2. bezo

    July 4, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    They have suddenly turn Lagos state justice ministry into a family affair
    na only dem waka come. Pls commot and let other people fill d post

    • abi

      August 22, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      If you read the article, you will see that Ayo had worked for 38 years and now retired. That should give an indication how long Funmi has worked in the same system. Put you in their position working for that number of years, you would want the system to recognise your hard work.

  3. tina

    July 4, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    4 Wetin na family title.u r too funny in dis part of the world

  4. mulikat

    July 5, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Good family,your parent is happy to have 2 of you as a child,nice 1.

  5. chichi

    July 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Has Judiciary become family inheritance, just asking!

    • abi

      August 22, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      They went through the ranks. If you knew, what each one them went through you will not be writing what you are writing. When something like this happens in Nigeria, you will say it is a family affair but when it happens outside Nigeria, you will respect the system. You should be congratulating them that in Nigeria women being given a platform rather than be subjected to as second-class citizens. In Britain, it happens but people do not hear of what is going on.

  6. Jo

    July 10, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    They are both following their late father’s footsteps, and are both eminently qualified to occupy the position. Should a qualified person not rise to a position for family reasons?

    • abi

      August 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      Thank you, I agree with you, as their father was an eminent judge who followed the rules of law. He trained his children to one day aspire to the same position as he was before his death.

  7. Chi Nneoma

    July 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Your parents will be really glad and proud. I am so proud of you two. God bless both of you.

  8. abi

    August 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    God Bless you too.

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