The Hon. Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon. Justice Esohe Frances Ikponmwen, FCJEI has reiterated that the Judiciary must at all time remain immune to undue influence just as the Judiciary Officers must uphold the oath of office sworn to in the discharge of their duties as the Judiciary is the arbiter of all disputes in the democratic system of Govt.
Hon. Justice Ikponmwen who was speaking during the opening of the 2019/2020 Legal year lauded Edo State Government under the Leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki for the bold steps taken to ensure that Edo State Judiciary witnesses a rapid turnaround in terms of renovation of dilapidating structures. She however insisted that financial autonomy or independence is the way to go if the Judiciary is to thrive at a faster rate than it is now.
The Chief Judge further urged all Judicial officers to continue to do justice without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
In her address, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Edo State said she was deeply honoured to be part of the noble commonwealth tradition marking the beginning of a new legal year which dates back to the middle ages.
Prof. Omorogbe mentioned that it is a Pivotal ceremony in Nigeria, which sets the tone for the justice sector in the coming year, and provides an opportunity for the Chief Judge to speak on issues that are of pressing importance.
The Hon. Attorney-General in retrospect said that the 2018/2019 Legal year has been characterized by learning, repositioning and change. Further intimating that learning has been continuous through the various trainings that state counsels attended all through the year..
It is of note that the ceremony for the opening of the legal year which is a judicial ritual, marks the official commencement of the Legal Year and affords members of the Bar, Bench and Stakeholders in the Justice Delivery sector and friends of the Judiciary the opportunity to review the outgone legal year with a view to identifying the successes, challenges, areas that need either a total change or overhaul.
Nwine, Nekpen Maureen
Information Officer, Edo State Judiciary
…AS COURT OPENS DIVISION IN BENIN
The President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Babatunde Adejumo, has lauded the commitment of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led Administration towards ensuring that the judicial arm of government is given the necessary support to function effectively.
Justice Adejumo gave the commendation in Benin City, during the commissioning of the Benin Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, constructed by the Edo State Government.
According to him, the establishment and commissioning of the Industrial Court in Edo State would promote industrial harmony in the State and provide succour for lawyers who used to travel to Akure to attend to cases from Edo State.
Justice Adejumo noted that the court would also encourage social development of the State through the promotion of peace and progress in the State, and in the Country at large.
“The facility is great and the building is good. This is the product of cooperation and I thank the Governor for this,” he said.
The Industrial Court President explained that the Court was established in 1976 and his coming on board 16 years ago led to its spread in Nigeria as Edo State is the 28th state where the court has been established.
In his response, Governor Obaseki said, “This is the first in the series where we will be handing over properties to the Judiciary as we have several of them undergoing construction in the State.”
The Governor thanked the President of the National Industrial Court for honouring the State with his presence at the commissioning ceremony, stating that his Administration had already provided accommodation for Hon. Justice Adeola Adewemimo, who would be the first resident Judge of the National Industrial Court in Benin City.
He said, “We are investing in our Judiciary as we have started the first in the series of accommodation for Judges in the State and we will not discriminate as we will ensure a comfortable accommodation for them. Our plan next year is to develop an estate for Judges in the GRA area of Edo State.
“This is just a temporary Court as the Court will be relocated to a permanent site within the next three years. We have secured the property and we have actually completed a design for the permanent structure.”
He further said, “As a government, we want to ensure we have the full complement of the Judiciary in the State and we are doing everything to provide what is required to make the Judiciary function effectively and efficiently in Edo State.
“We are going to be emphasising and strengthening our Magistracy, investing in our High Court and are pleased that we have successfully been able to attract the Industrial Court to Edo State as we work to relocate the Court of Appeal to a more auspicious premises and hope if possible to have a Supreme Court in Edo State.”
According to Governor Obaseki, the aspiration of his Administration is to be the industrial hub of Nigeria as the State is working hard to ensure that before the end of the year, the State Government will commence the construction of 1,000 hectares of Industrial Park in the State, and it will become the bastion for attracting companies and organisations to the State.
In her remarks, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said the construction of the Court in Edo State had provided one instance of the positive attitude of Governor Obaseki towards all matters pertaining to the administration of justice and the rule of law in the State.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Esohe lkponmwen, who expressed delight at the achievement, said it was a great development for the State.
She thanked the Governor for the achievement and expressed confidence that the Court will contribute to industrial harmony in the State.
The Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Edo State branch, Prince (Barr.) Collins Benson Ogiegbaen, expressed the gratitude of the Bar of Edo and Delta states to the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for realising the dreams of most lawyers in both states, who were exposed to kidnapping and hardship on the Akure Road, as it was one of the most dangerous roads in Nigeria, saying. “The entire Bar in Edo and Delta states are grateful to the exemplary leadership style of the Governor of Edo State.”