Author Archive:Edo Judiciary

EDO CHIEF JUDGE COMMENDS EDSOGPADEC FOR DELIVERING ON INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS IN THE JUDICIARY.

Evans Abegbe
Media officer, EDO state judiciary,
Benin city.

EDO state chief judge, his lordship, honourable J I Acha has commended the EDO state oil and gas producing areas development commission on recent projects carried out in the state judiciary.
He made gave this commendation while playing host to the chairman and top management staff of the commission who paid him a courtesy call recently.
The chief judge explained that the projects will in no small measure make the onerous task of justice delivery easier and more accessible in the state.
He however noted that although the projects were built to specification, it would serve greater purpose if the judiciary is brought in at the planning stage rather than at the delivery stage as this would create an avenue for inputs that will lead better usage of the buildings and facilities.
The chairman of the state oil and gas producing areas development commission, pastor Kennedy Osifoh while delivering his speech thanked the honourable Chief Judge for granting the courtesy visit and said the purpose of the visit was to inform the him of the need to commission some of the completed and renovated court buildings in various parts of the state so that it can be put to judicious use and also to invite him to the ground breaking ceremony for other projects that are about to commence.

According to the chairman, projects already completed and ready for commissioning include
1: High court, Abudu
2; Magistrate court , Abudu
3; Judicial complex, Abudu
4; Ultra modern Magistrate court, Egba
5; Rebuilt high court building, Okada
6: Magistrate court buildings at Oduna, Urhonigbe and Uheuhe

All within the oil producing areas in the state.
Pastor Osifoh explained that the commissions’ duty of building infrastructure and human capital development in the oil producing areas and environs is of paramount importance and part of its job is provision of an enabling environment for easy dispensation of justice and dispute resolution which is in accordance with government policy of making EDO great again.
The EDSOGPADEC delegation includes barrister William Dudu (member representing Ikpoba Okha), Mrs Omosede Obamwonyi (member representing Ovia North East) and Mr. Charles Aideyan ( member representing Orhiomwon Local Government).

EDO STATE CHIEF JUDGE PLAYS HOST TO NEW COMMISSIONER OF POLICE.

The Chief Judge of Edo State, his lordship Justice J. I. Acha played host to the new Commissioner of Police CP Abutu Yaro who paid him a courtesy visit recently to intimate him of his resumption of office in the State.
The Commissioner of Police, while addressing the Honourable Chief Judge, explained that the job of policing would not be complete without the co-operation of the Judiciary.
He mentioned that there was a very high volatility of criminal tendencies which has been heightened by political activities in the state, this has constantly put the police on its toes in the state. This in turn has made the synergy between the police and the judiciary most necessary.
He condemned the prevalence of organized kidnappings in the state and promised to stamp out the menace in no distant time.
He however noted that Edo State was relatively peaceful in comparison to other states in the country.
Then his lordship, Justice J. I. Acha expressed his appreciation for the courtesy visit and welcome the Commissioner to his office.
While congratulating him on his posting to the state, the Chief Judge however noted that the job was not an enviable one bearing in mind the security concern in the state and country in general.
He mentioned that there was a great need for the Police and the Judiciary to work hand in hand in order to ensure effective justice delivery in the State.
He also noted that there has been a marked improvement in the security of lives and properties in the State since his resumption in a little over a month ago.
The Chief Judge urged CP Abutu yaro to ensure that all recommendations made by the administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee are implement SD this will go a long way to making justice delivery on the state easier.
He also promised to ensure that there is always a vacation Judge available as usual anytime the State Judges go on their vacation in order to avoid a pile up if cases and to ensure a smooth justice delivery system within the vacation period.

Evans Abegbe, Media Officer, Edo State High Court, Benin City.

EDO STATE CHIEF JUDGE SWEARS IN MAGISTRATES AND AREA CUSTOMARY COURT PRESIDENTS.

Magistrates and Presidents of Area Customary Court in the State has been enjoined to be of credible character and play their part in the equitable dispensation of justice without fear or favour.
This charge was made recently by the Honourable Chief Judge of Edo State, Honourable Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha while swearing in some magistrates and area customary court presidents in the state capital.
While congratulating the newly sworn in judicial officers, he urged them to be true to their oaths of office and good ambassadors of the judiciary. He maintained that their appointment was a call to duty and therefore not a stroll in the park as it involves a lot of hard work, dedication, tact and unwavering scrupulousness even in the face of temptation.
The Chief Judge explained that it was one of the cardinal points of his administration to entrench and build a strong and virile judiciary that is without blemish in the state.
He assured that the selection process of the Magistrates and Presidents was very stringent and thorough and therefore congratulated them for coming out successful.
He informed that there is deliberate and constructive steps being taken to bring on board laudable initiatives with a view to making Edo State Judiciary a point of reference in the country.
A total of 10 Customary Court Presidents and 5 Magistrates were sworn in for a better, faster and fair justice delivery system in Edo State.

By Evans Abegbe, Media Officer, Edo State High Court, Benin City.

FIDA EDO TO EXTEND SERVICES TO VULNERABLE PERSONS

The Acting Chief Judge of Edo State Judiciary, Hon. Justice Joe Acha. has enjoined members of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Edo State Chapter not to limit their services to women and children, but should, as mothers, extend it to all, especially the vulnerable men in the society as vulnerability had, in recent times, also been recorded among the male gender.

Hon. Justice Acha, who made this call while receiving members of the Association on a courtesy visit to his office, also remarked that he was quite familiar with FIDA and its activities as he has had the privilege of working with some of the members.

He further acknowledged FIDA’s recognition in aspiring to make him a patron while also assuring the association of his unflinching support at all times.

The Acting Chief Judge also urged FIDA to continue with the good work they had been well known for, while appreciating them for the visit and well wishes.

Earlier, the Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Miss. Iryn Omorogiuwa, who thanked the Acting Chief Judge for the warm reception, disclosed that FIDA, had over the years enjoyed very cordial relationship with the Judiciary, especially as the immediate past two Chief Judges had been patrons of the Association.

Miss. Omorogiuwa stated that part of the reasons for the visit was to intimate the Acting Chief Judge of the Association’s wish and expectation of making him a patron of FIDA, as had been the tradition over the years.

She also said another reason was to acquaint the Chief Judge of the Association’s activities which were enumerated to include, but not limited to Pro Bono (free) services to vulnerable women and children on cases involving rape, abandonment and others in court.

According to the FIDA Chairperson, the Association has various committees to work out each activity as part of their mandate in preserving the rule of law and protecting vulnerable women and children.

The Association used the opportunity to solicit the Acting Chief Judge’s support towards the realization of their dream and project of putting up a FIDA building to provide shelter for vulnerable women with shelter challenges and centre for free training for very young children.

In her vote of thanks, the Vice Chairperson of the Association, Mrs. Ulo Uzamere, appreciated the Acting Chief Judge for his co-operation and support in times past as that had given them the confidence and assurance of his continued support.

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary

EDO STATE JUDICIARY TRAINS IT’S WORKFORCE …… HARPS ON ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY

In line with the state government’s Vision of having well-trained and effective workforce, Edo state judiciary has made available to its members of staff modern training techniques and opportunities with notable resource persons well grounded in their diverse areas of expertise.

 In his keynote address, the acting chief judge Edo state Hon. Justice Joe Acha expressed satisfaction at the fulfilment of the dream and commitment he had always held dear stating empathetically that training and retraining of all categories of staff of the judiciary was the very first request he made to his Excellency, the Governor of Edo State on the day he was sworn in as Acting Chief Judge. ” it is therefore, my fervent passion and desire to put in place a world-class Judiciary in Edo State with quality workforce that is second to none”, he said.

Noting that the strength and success of any organisation whether in the private or public sectors such as Edo State Judiciary, lies mainly in the quality of its human resources, Hon. Justice Acha stated “there is therefore a compelling need to regularly update and upgrade our knowledge base and that of other judicial officers through seminars, workshops as well as training programs like this aimed at efficient capacity building”.

Charging the participants on the need for their much-desired seriousness, the Acting Chief Judge admonished that the capacity building program which shall be extended to Edo Central and North Senatorial districts should renew the vigour and determination of the members of staff to drive an enhanced productivity.

Concluding, Hon. Justice Joe Acha extended his deep appreciation to his Excellency, the governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki and his formidable team for making the program a reality and a success.

Earlier while welcoming participants to the program, the Chief Registrar High Court, Benson Osawaru Esq. reiterated that the capacity building program is not a jamboree or one of leisure but a serious practical and academic exercise which is deserving of their rapt attention and participation as that is the only way to justify the enormous efforts and resources that had gone into making the program possible.

The chief registrar further urged the members of staff to make the most out of The Resource persons who had been painstakingly chosen as a result of their wealth of knowledge and uncommon practical experiences.

The training program themed “Towards efficient service delivery in the Edo State Judiciary” had erudite and well tested resource persons like Mr Sunday Iyun, Mr John Asuerimen, Elder Sunny Odigie amongst others doing Justice to the interesting, thought provoking and specialised topics chosen by management.

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary

HON. JUSTICE JOE ITSEBAGA ACHA SWORN-IN AS ACTING CHIEF JUDGE OF EDO STATE JUDICIARY

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has sworn in Hon. Justice Joe I. Acha as the acting Chief Judge of Edo State.

While reaffirming his support for rapid development of the state’s judiciary, Governor Obaseki stated that “the peaceful orderly and predictable transfer of power within the leadership of all arms of government is the single most important hallmark of a civilized working democracy”.

Governor Obaseki while congratulating his Lordship on his swearing in as Acting Chief Judge, urged him to always take to heart the solemn oath, which he has sworn to. The Governor also charged the Acting Chief Judge to carry out his duties with Justice, honesty and transparency as he had become the “custodian of an institution which represents the last vestige of hope in our common existence”.

In his remarks, the acting Chief Judge Hon. Justice Joe I. Acha maintained that he would continue to interact with other arms of Government as the Judiciary carries out her avowed duty of Justice delivery to the citizenry for the peace and progress of Edo State.

Hon. Justice Joe I. Acha further stated that as part of his vision and plans for the Judiciary, he would embark on training all the registrars and secretaries to enhance their productivity within the next few weeks.

Hon Justice Joe I. Acha’s swearing-in, which followed the retirement of Hon. Justice Esther Edigin as the 14th Chief Judge from inception, was held at the New Festival hall in Government House.

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer,

Edo State Judiciary

TRIBUTE TO HON. JUSTICE MORRISON IGHODALO OF THE EDO STATE HIGH COURT AS HE GOES HOME TO HIS FINAL RESTING PLACE .

By: Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.

*Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go*

  • Jean de La Fontaine

The Honourable Justice Morrison Ighodalo’s demise came to many as a surprise, but just as the saying above surmises, he must be sojourning in the bosom of the Lord as he lived his life with so much equanimity and solemnity.

Humble to a fault, the Hon. Justice Morrison Ighodalo never lost his temperament in Court. Measured in character, he chose his words carefully. The Hon Justice Morrison Ighodalo in his stint as a High Court Judge of Edo State was a quintessential example of how a judicial officer should relate with counsel and the Public.

As a minister in the temple of justice, the temple (the Court) was never desecrated. Being a Judge is a sacred duty. It is akin to acting on behalf of God on earth and so a judge must like Caesar’s Wife be above board and not condescend to the arena of conflict, else he would be blinded by the dust of conflict. Whenever a Judge is Sitting, he  is actually on  trial in the eyes of the Public, what he says or do, will be counted for good or for bad by posterity . The Hon Justice Morrison Ighodalo was a trail blazer in depicting the mien of a Judge.

On the characteristics of a judge the Special Committee of the Minnesota Bar Association on the Appointment of Judges stated thus:

*A candidate should exhibit the following aspects of proper judicial temperament: patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, courage, punctuality, firmness, understanding, compassion, humility and common sense.  Those qualities should be demonstrated consistently.  For applicants who already hold a judgeship, these qualities should have consistently manifested themselves to all the court’s “stakeholders” interacting with the judge regardless of station in life, profession, type of case, representation by counsel or lack thereof*

In actual fact, the Hon. Justice Morrison Ighodalo displayed the virtues indicated above in My Lord’s life time. This accounted for the grief and mourning that pervaded the Bar upon My Lord’s Demise.

In his tribute to My Lord the Hon Justice Morrison Ighodalo, on a condolence visit to My Lord, the Honourable, the Chief Judge of Edo State, the Hon Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin FICMC, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Benin Branch, the Lion Bar, Pius Oiwoh AICMC stated thus:

 *My Lord ,the Hon Justice Morrison Ighodalo was   renowned as a quintessential Jurist, who had the demeanor worthy of commendation as he would address a young lawyer in the same manner he would address a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a unique characteristic that stood him out in his scandal free and eventful career*

It was Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States that said:

*It is not the years in your life that matters, but the life in your years*

The Hon. Justice Morrison Ighodalo indeed lived a well fulfilled life, that is worthy of emulation. He will be sorely missed!

What will people say about you, when you die? Pause and ponder .

About the Author:

Douglas Ogbankwa Esq., is the immediate Past Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association Benin Branch and the Convener of the Vanguard for the Independence of the Judiciary.

Edo State Judiciary establishes “SETTLEMENT WEEK”

Edo State Judiciary has organized her first ever settlement week tagged “Settlement Week: An Effective Tool in Justice Delivery.”

Declaring the week-long event open, the Chief Judge, Edo State, Hon. Justice Esther Edigin, lauded the innovation of Settlement week which according to her is indeed an effective tool in Justice Delivery as it is a mechanism for achieving the Judiciary’s drive of bringing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to the door steps of all Citizens of Edo State. Reiterating that the Settlement Week is a tried and tested means by which a huge bulk of cases could be speedily resolved to clear up the backlog of cases in the court dockets, Hon. Justice Edigin maintained that the event marks the beginning of even greater things to come for Edo State Judiciary as the Settlement Week is not a one-off event, but a recurring one which would be organized from time to time during each legal year.

In his remarks, Chairman, Settlement Week Committee, Hon. Justice E. O. Ahamioje said ADR is now ubiquitously acknowledged alternative to litigation in several countries all over the world, and is gradually gaining a strong foot in Nigeria.

He further made known that the primary goal of a settlement week is to commit to a set period of time, usually a week or more, to apply the ADR process to ongoing litigation regardless of the stage of the case.

Hon. Justice Ahamioje also said this first ever settlement week is sponsored by the Edo State Judiciary. This means that, once placed on the track for settlement week, the entire process of a case is cost free, serving as an incentive to parties to achieve a resolution of their disputes.

Earlier, while welcoming all to the maiden edition of the Edo State Settlement Week, organized by the Edo State Judiciary through the Multi-Door Court House, the Director, Edo State Multi-Door Court House, Mrs. Taiye Omoruyi made known that the Multi-Door Court House creates an avenue to combat the challenges associated with the Justice delivery system minimizing delays through the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in order to achieve more amenable outcome to parties.

Hence, the week has been set aside by the Honourable Chief Judge of Edo State for courts to clear the backlog of cases through referrals to the Multi-Door Court House for possible resolution through the ADR Processes.

According to the Multi-Door Court House Director, cases expected to come up at the settlement week includes: Land Matters, Matrimonial cases, Accident Claims, Banking, Energy, Contracts, Landlord & Tenancy. Others are Insurance, Employment and Labour related disputes, Recovery of debts, sports and so many others.

Mrs. Omoruyi further said that Settlement Week essentially helps to ensure that matters which remain in the court’s docket receives more attention. It also reduces the chance that people would take the law into their own hands out of frustration that may occur due to a prolonged litigation process.

Highlights of the event was the unveiling of the Settlement Week Practice Direction by the State’s Chief Judge.

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary

EDO STATE JUDICIARY SETTLEMENT WEEK 2021

This is to bring to the attention of Members of the Bar and Bench,  Litigants, critical Stake holders in the Justice Sector and the General Public, that from 15th to 19th March, 2021,  pursuant to Order 26 Rule 9 of the Edo State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2018, the Edo State Judiciary is organizing its first ever, “SETTLEMENT WEEK,” which is a week  set aside to employ Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options in the resolution of cases considered resolvable in Courts’ dockets.

1. OPENING CEREMONY

 DATE: 15TH March, 2021

VENUE: Imaguero College Hall, Sapele road, Benin City

TIME: 10.00am prompt.

2. SETTLEMENT SESSIONS

Please Note that all subsequent Settlement Sessions throughout the week are scheduled to hold at various designated centres, being the New High Court Complex, Edo State Multi-door Court House and the NBA House, Benin City starting from 9.00am each day. All NCDC Covid- 19 protocols must be strictly observed, please.

SIGNED

BENSON OSAWARU ESQ.

Acting Chief Registrar

High Court of Justice, Benin City

EDO STATE JUDICIARY PARTNERS GIZ TO IMPROVE STATE INVESTMENT CLIMATE AND THE ECONOMY

The Edo State Judiciary is partnering with the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria (SEDIN) Programme of the German Development Agency (GIZ). The objective of the programme is to improve the employment and income situation of MSMEs through access to finance and business services, strengthening entrepreneurial and managerial skills, and addressing key barriers in the business environment and investment climate of selected states in Nigeria. In line with this objective, SEDIN is partnering with Edo State Judiciary, being one of its focal states to improve the system for commercial dispute resolution and contract enforcement in the state.

One of the key indicators used by investors globally in assessing national and states economics across the world is the ease of enforcing contracts. This basically deals with how easy it is to enforce commercial or business contracts among entities in terms of number of processes, ease of the processes, cost, and predictability of the processes. As part of its contribution to the efforts of Edo State Government to improve the investment climate in Edo State and stimulate economic activities, the state judiciary has embarked on series of reforms including the establishment of Multi-Door Courthouse and small claim courts all of which has improved the contract enforcement system in Edo state especially for MSMEs.

To further strengthen the system, SEDIN is now supporting the Edo State Judiciary to train and certify panel of neutrals in mediation and conciliation. At the opening event for the training, the Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon Justice Esther Edigin stated that the Edo state judiciary believes this partnership will lead to effective and efficient commercial ADR which will fast track commercial dispute settlement which saves time and cost and an important reform for contract enforcement and improved business enabling environment in the state. The representative of SEDIN-GIZ, Akin Omoware Esq further explained that the beneficiaries of the SEDIN-GIZ Programme include the poor and vulnerable who do not have the wherewithal to enforce their contractual rights especially through the formal justice system that is technical, expensive and adversarial. As part of SEDIN’s inclusive business approach, this partnership will contribute to the efficient ADR system in the Edo state and give access to affordable system of commercial dispute resolutions for MSMEs including farmers who would not have been able to afford or access the regular court process to enforce their contractual rights.

EDO STATE JUDICIARY GETS EIGHT (8) NEW JUDGES

Edo State Judiciary has had eight (8) Judges sworn into the state’s High Court recently. The new Judges who are;

  • Aziegbemhin Williams Idemudia
  • Igho Patricia Braimoh
  • Esohe Irene Bazuaye
  • Etinosa Gloria Adekanmbi
  • Hassana Garuba Oshione
  • Theresa Irenonsen Eghe-Abe
  • Ogbevoen Rachel Aiteseme
  • Itsueli Mary Enoredia

Were tasked by the Governor of the State Mr. Godwin Obaseki to be impartial in their dispensation of Justice, while performing the swearing-in ceremony. The Governor promised his support in adopting the new technology in the dispensation of Justice in order to ease the burden of work on the Judges.

Governor Obaseki while promising to hand over the newly built quarters to the Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Esther Edigin, said his administration has plans of rebuilding courts and Judges quarters outside the State Capital this year as, according to him, the appropriate environment has to be provided for the Judges to work efficiently and smoothly.

The governor who was elated at the history making event, said, it was part of his administration’s avowed commitment to strengthen the Rule of Law by ensuring the Judiciary is one of the strongest arms of government as that would bring about a virile democracy. He further urged them to carry on their duties without fear or favour as their appointment is from God and not from any man.

In his response, on behalf of the newly sworn in Judges, Hon. Justice Williams Aziegbemhin, who until his appointment was the Chief Registrar, High Court, Edo State, thanked his Excellency, the Governor of the state and the Honourable Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon. Justice Esther Edigin for ensuring that the appointment process was transparent, fair and conclusive.

He also stated that the desires of the new Judges now is to abide by the Oath of Office, uphold the principles of Justice, the ethics of the profession and to dispense Justice to all without fear or favour.

Hon. Justice Aziegbemhin further used the opportunity to thank the Governor for the beautiful 12 new Court Halls/Complex at the High Court premises and also the employment of 100 trained Stenographers to ensure effective administration of Justice in Edo State.

Also present at the ceremony held in the New Festival Hall, Government House, Benin City, with strict observance of COVID-19 protocol, was the first female Chief Judge of the State, Justice Constance Momoh.

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary