Author Archive:Edo Judiciary

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

NEWSBREAKING: Nigerian States’ Legislature, Judiciary: FG releases details of Financial Autonomy Order

NEWSBREAKING: Nigerian States’ Legislature, Judiciary: FG releases details of Financial Autonomy Order

 

The federal government has released details of Executive Order No.10 of 2020, four days after it was signed into law by President Mohammadu Buhari.

The details signals the implementation of Financial Autonomy for the State Legislature and Judiciary Order of 2020.

With Buhari’s assent, the legislative and judicial arms of government in the 36 states of the federation will no longer have to wait on State governors for funds.

In the details released on Tuesday by Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media to Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, President Buhari said his decision was based on Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

 

Details of the Presidents orders as follows:

“1. Appropriation, Authorisation, Orders, etc:

(a) Without prejudice to any other applicable laws, legislations and conventions at the State tier of Government, which also provides for financial autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary, allocation of appropriated funds to the State Legislature and State Judiciary in the State appropriation laws in the annual budget of the State, shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State, as a First Line Charge.

(b) The Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this Order and such any other Orders, Regulations or Guidelines as may be issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, authorise the deduction from source, in the course of Federation Accounts Allocation from the money allocated to any State of the Federation that fails to release allocation meant for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with the financial autonomy guaranteed by Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

 

“2. Determination of the Budget:

Notwithstanding the provisions of any existing law, convention or regulation, other than the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), providing for appropriation or management of funds at the State tier of Government as follows:

(a) every State Government of the Federation shall set up a Committee from the commencement of this Executive Order comprising the Commissioner of Finance, Accountant-General of the State, representative of the State Budget Office, Chief Registrars of State High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal, (where applicable), the Clerk to the State House of Assembly and the Secretary of the State Judicial Service Committee or Commission;

(b) where applicable, determine and ascertain from the Revenue profile of the State, a workable budget for each Arm of the State Government based on the request and needs of the Accounting Officers; and (c) the Committee shall be given and accorded legal recognition in the various relevant appropriation or Funds Management Laws of the States.

 

“3. Creation of State Judiciary Budget Committee:

(a) For the purpose of Appropriation to the State Judiciary, each State Judiciary of the federation shall set up a State Judiciary Budget Committee (in this Order referred to as “a Committee”) to serves as an administrative body to prepare, administer and implement the budget of the State Judiciary with such modifications as may be required to meet the needs of the State Judiciary.

(b) The Committee shall consist of the State Chief Judge as the Chairman with the Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, the President, Customary Court of Appeal, where applicable and two members of the Judicial Service Committee or Judicial Service Commission to be appointed by the Chief Judge, in consultation with other Members of the Committee, to serve as Members.

(c) The Chief Registrar of the State High Court is to serve as Secretary.

(d) The modalities for budget preparations and implementation shall include but not limited to the following:

(i) upon the receipt of the Budget Estimates of the Fiscal Year for the State Judiciary, the State Judiciary Budget Committee shall invite all the Accounting Officers of the various Courts/Judicial Bodies to defend their budget estimates;

(ii) the budget estimates for Courts and Judicial bodies shall be based on expenditure line items given to them by the State Judiciary Budget Committee which shall be defended before the State House of Assembly; and

(iii) upon the appropriation of Funds, the State Judiciary Budget Committee shall on a monthly basis or as the case may be, request the Budget Office of the State to release the statutory allocation for the quarter or monthly and the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) shall be raised by the Office of the Accountant-General of the State for the release of the Fund to all the Heads of Courts/Judicial Bodies in line with the Appropriation Law.

 

“4. Budget Preparation, Templates and Modalities:

(a) Without prejudice to any existing budget templates in force in any State of the federation, the State Legislature and State Judiciary shall continue to maintain the strata of line consultations, inter Arms and inter-Agency pre-budget consultations and frontloading as is done in some States.

(b) The budget templates and models in the schedule to this Executive Order shall apply to State Legislature and State Judiciary with modifications, in compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) and such other applicable Laws.

 

“5. Appropriation and Supplementary Appropriation Law, etc:

(a) At the commencement of this Order for implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), all States of the Federation shall include the allocations of the two Arms of Government in their Appropriation Laws.

(b) Where Appropriation Law exists in any State of the federation before the commencement and implementation of this Order, such States shall amend their Appropriation Law to encompass financial autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary.

(c) This Order expects States without Appropriation Law on the financial autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary to do so.

 

“6. Special Allocation for the Judiciary:

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Executive Order, in the first three years of its implementation, there shall be special extraordinary capital allocations for the Judiciary to undertake capital development of State Judiciary Complexes, High Court Complexes, Sharia Court of Appeal, Customary Court of Appeal and Court Complexes of other Courts befitting the status of a Courts.

(b) In this section, “Other Courts” includes Magistrate Courts, District Courts, Customary Courts and Area Courts.

 

“7. Implementation of this Order:

(a) Subject to section 8(1) of this Order, implementation of the provisions of this Order shall be carried out by the Presidential Implementation Committee in accordance with its recommendations.

(b) To the extent as may be permitted by law, the Accountant-General of the Federation shall take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Order and implementation of the recommendations of the Committee, as may from time to time be made.

(c) This Order shall be implemented consistently with States applicable laws that guarantee financial autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary and subject to the availability of funds.

 

“8. Citation: This ORDER may be cited as the Implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary Order, 2020.

 

“9. Commencement: This Executive Order shall take effect from this 20th Day of May 2020.”

 

Obaseki reconstitutes Edo Judicial Service Commission.

Obaseki reconstitutes Edo Judicial Service Commission.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved the reconstitution of the Edo State Judicial Service Commission, following the completion of the tenure of the non-ex-officio members of the commission.
In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Esq., noted that the date for the inauguration of the new members of the Judicial Service Commission will be announced later by the government.
The new members of the commission include Dele Edokpayi, Esq., Mustapha Ikhegbe Abubarkar, Esq., Prof. Anthony Ekata Ogbeibu and Mrs. Felicia Eraze Ogbeide.
The statement read: “It is hereby announced for the information of the General Public that following the completion of the tenure of the Non Ex-Officio Members of Edo State Judicial Service Commission, the Governor of Edo State Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki has approved the reconstitution of the Commission as follows: Dele Edokpayi, Esq; Mustapha Ikhegbe Abubarkar, Esq.; Prof. Anthony Ekata Ogbeibu and Mrs. Felicia Eraze Ogbeide.
“The date for the inauguration of the new members of the Judicial Service Commission will be announced later.”

HON. JUSTICE EDIGIN COMMENDS BENIN NBA ON PRO BONO COMMITTMENT

Edo State’s Chief Judge Hon. Justice Esther Edigin has commended the executive & members of the Benin branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) for their commitment to their profession and responsibility towards the people of their constituents.

The Chief Judge, who gave this commendation when the Executives of the NBA paid her a courtesy call in her office to felicitate with her on her assumption of office as the Chief Judge of the state, said the pro bono commitment initiated by the NBA has contributed to the decongestion of the correctional centres. She charged them to do all they can to uphold it while also encouraging them to live up to the tenants of the law Profession.

Hon. Justice Edigin further pledged to uphold the good relationship between the bench and the bar stating that her door is opened to all legal practitioners and she would assist all to the best of her capability.

Earlier, the chairman of the Benin bar, Prince Collins Ogiegbaen had congratulated the Chief Judge on her assumption of office, pledging the loyalty and support of the executive and members of the Benin Branch NBA.  He emphasized on the many qualities of Hon. Justice Edigin stating categorically that she (the chief Judge) is one of the most resourceful Judges he had come across as he largely refers to her judgments in his dealings in court. He also prayed for a successful tenure for the Chief Judge.

Prince Ogiegbaen further intimated the Chief judge of the existence of legal Assistance and Prisoners Rights Initiative (LAPRI) which is headed by the bar Public Defender, the aim of which is to provide legal assistance and defend the rights of inmates, pro bono. He also explained that the LAPRI social advocacy was part of what awarded the Benin Bar, the 2nd best Bar nationwide.

 

 

Nwine Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer,

Edo State Judiciary

EDO STATE JUDICIARY BIDS RETIRED LEGAL GIANT ADIEU

Edo State Judiciary led by the Chief Judge Hon. Justice Esther Edigin has gathered to bid a deceased retired legal luminary, late hon. Justice Aliu Okunega farewell as he transits to glory.

At the valedictory court session held for the late Justice at High Court No. 1, Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, The State’s Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Esther Edigin said that Hon. Justice Okunega has had his time to be born and now his time to die at the ripe age of 84. She also said his service to his profession, humanity, community and Almighty God is worth celebrating.

Hon. Justice Edigin extolled the late Justice Okunega as having an insatiable appetite to uphold the tenants of the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man in very many of his Judicial decisions as he was an epitome of diligence, forthrightness and integrity.

The chief Judge encouraged his family to be consoled with the realization of the fact that he lived a glorious and fulfilled life. As death is not an event that ends the great sentence of life but a comma that punctuates it for higher service and external life.

In his address, hon. Justice I. O. Aluyi, chairman Body of Retired Judges, Edo State, represented by Hon. Justice R. I. Amaize (Rtd) eulogised the late Honourable Justice as warmth, amiability and conviviality personified while he lived. He further said Justice Okunega brought such sterling qualities, amongst others to bear and radiated them even within the corpus of retired judges; stating that members will sorely miss him.

Permission was granted the Okunega family to remove with honour and dignity, the remains of the late gentleman and to lay him to rest in his hometown, Eware (Anwain Clan) Etsako West Local Govt. Area of Edo State.

It is worthy of note that Hon. Justice Aliu Okunega was chairman Transitional Committee, Etsako West Local Government Council, 2002 and chairman, Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), 2009. Post-retirement.

 

Nwine Nekpen Maureen

Senior Information Officer,

Edo State Judiciary

Edo State gets a new Chief Judge

Hon. Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin has been sworn in as the  7th Substantive Chief Judge in Edo State

The new Chief Judge was sworn in by the State Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki  following the retirement of the immediate past Chief Judge, Hon. Justice  Esohe Ikponmwen.

While performing the swearing in ceremony, the governor commended judicial officers in the state for remaining unsoiled despite operating at a time when the judiciary is facing an integrity crisis.

He was thankful that Edo has not recorded any incident of suspension or dismissal of a judge by the National Judicial Council on account of corruption and implored all judicial officers to maintain the record

The Governor however tasked the new Chief Judge who he termed as haven faithfully served as a Judge in the state, to  further ensure speedy dispensation of justice and to strengthen the state’s magistracy.

In her response, the new Chief Judge Hon. Justice Edigin, who promised to work with other judges in the state and other arms of government to ensure effective dispensation of justice, also said she will prioritise staff welfare, especially the magistracy and join the Governor in his fight against corruption in the state’s judiciary.

She further urged the executive arm of government on the implementation of financial independence for the judiciary in accordance with section 121 sub-section 3 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

 

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary

Edo Monarch honours The Chief Judge

Om  n’oba n’edo,  Uku  Akpolokpolo, Oba  Ewuare  II, the  Oba of  Benin has honoured the  Chie f Judge of  Edo State, Hon Just ice Esohe Ikpownmen with  two different  sets of royal  beads as a sign of acknowledgement and honour.

The Oba of Benin who  thanked his  ancestors  for fore sight and the wisdom bestowed  on   him,   said the honour bestowed on  the Chief  Judge  was   not preplanned, rather, an  inspiration  from  his  forebears  hence,  after   the  first set, further beads were  gifted to ·the Chief Judge.

The  Bini  Monarch  while saying  that   thanksgiving is  supreme, prayed for more  wisdom and  for  G od to not  abandon the  Palace and  the  binis.  Suing  for harmony  among all judicial workers, the Oba prayed for a  peaceful tenure for the in-coming Chief Judge.

In  appreciation, the  Chief Judge Edo State, Hon.  Justice Esohe lkponmwen said  she had come  to pay  homage to his Royal Majesty for his fatherly love and blessings, she  expressed her sense of gratitude stating that she is not sure of how she was deserving of such an honour.

The Chief Judge however  prayed for God to continually honour the Oba and for more fruitfulness in Benin Kingdom.

 

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary

Edo South’s Judicial Officers Host Retiring Chief Judge

As parts  of activities leading to  the  smooth disengagement of the  retiring Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Esohe lkponmwen, the judicial  workers in Edo south  has hosted  the  Chief Judge in a grand  reception organized  in her honour.

Responding  to  the  cheerful members of staff,  Hon Justice  lkponmwen expressed her heartfelt joy and Gratitude to God for  loving and blessing  her so much  as she never believed when  she commenced her career that  she would one day head the state’s Judiciary.

The Chief Judge  expressed appreciation to  all the  members of  staff  for  the  love that  exists and binds  them. She however apologized to all she may have offended in the course of carrying out  her duties.

Hon Justice  lkponmwen used  the  opportunity to  present her  successor, the  in­ coming   Chief  Judge,  Hon  Justice  Esther  Edigin,  whom  she  described  as  very respectful, humble  and  loyal,  charging all  members of  staff   to  accord  the  in­ coming  Chief Judge with greater diligence and loyalty  than  they  accorded her.

Earlier the number two Judge and in-coming Chief Judge, Hon Justice Esther Edigin had extolled  the  retiring Chief Judge as a very  competent and  diligent Judge whose motherly nature  would  be greatly  missed.  She described her as a role model to many and assured her that the legacies she had laid out would be improved upon.

Highlights  of the  occasion  was the presentation  of gifts  by various  members  of staff to the retiring Chief Judge.

 

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Information Officer

Edo State Judiciary

Edo Chief Judge Commissions Oredo Magistrate Court

Edo State  Chief  Judge  Hon  Justice  Esohe lkponmwen has  called  on  all judicial  officers   tasked  with   justice  delivery   to  ensure  that   justice  is  indeed delivered speedily without fear or favour.

The  Chief  Judge  who   was  speaking  during   the   commissioning  of  a  newly constructed   Magistrate  Court  at  Oredo  Local Government  Council,  also  said justice would make the citizens trust and obey the law.

Hon Justice lkponmwen while  commending the  chairman  of the  council  for  his patriotism and responsibility by his quick execution  of the State Governor’s  orders for Grass root  Courts in every Local Government  area to aid quick dispensation of justice, she however cautioned  that the Magistrate court must not become a tool for the perpetration of injustice  and oppression.

In his address, the  Executive  Chairman  Oredo  Loca l Government Council Hon. Jenkins Osunde expressed his convictions  on the improvement of  the  Council’s Internally  Generated  Revenue  (IGR) as well  as the  Councils  ability  to prosecute defaulters in the newly commissioned Magistrate Court.

Hon Osunde further intimated that the grass root government shall do everything possible to promote government policies aimed at establishing financial harmony between  the  state  and local government.  He however, solicited the  support  of  the judiciary for the execution  of the policies.

 

Nwine, Nekpen Maureen

Information Officer,

Edo State Judicary

PROFILE OF MY LORD HON. JUSTICE ESTHER AMENAGHAWON EDIGIN

The Hon. Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin was born on the 17th day of
May, 1956 to the family of Mr. Emmanuel Egiebor Eribo who hails from
Idunogba in Ugoniyekorhionmwon in Orhionmwon Local Government Area
and settled in Ogbe quarters in Benin City. He finally settled in Egor Local
Government Area where he set up Eribo Industrial Estate at No. 100 Edo
Textile Mill Road, Benin City. He was married to Mrs. Omosede Eribo (nee
Odobo) whose ancestors came from Obadan in Uhunwonde Local
Government Area and migrated to set up a settlement camp now known as
Ekodobo near NIFOR in Ovia North East Local Government Area. His
Lordship is the 4th Child and the 3rd daughter of this union.
In the year 1961 His Lordship was enrolled into St. Mathias Primary School,
Okesuna, Lagos State and after two years moved to Adrao International
School, Victoria Island, Lagos State. From 1967 – 1968, His Lordship was in
Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos where she obtained the Primary
School Leaving Certificate in 1968. His Lordship was admitted into the
prestigious Federal Government College, Warri for her Secondary School
Education between 1969 and 1973. She later proceeded to Idia College,
Benin City for Higher School from 1973-1975.
Having excelled in her education especially in Secondary School, she was
admitted to study Law at the University of Lagos in 1975. His Lordship was
called to the Nigerian Bar on the 17th day of July, 1979 after which she
proceeded for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps in Lagos State
and was posted to serve at the Public Complaints Commission at Norman
Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
As a legal practitioner, His Lordship practiced with F. O. Akinrele & Co.
(SAN) in Lagos State. From 1980 to 1981 she also practiced briefly at Buba
Aliyu & Co. in Kano State before she was appointed Magistrate Grade I in
Kano State Judiciary and rose to Chief Magistrate Grade II in 1988, on
contract.
In September 1989, His Lordship joined the Bendel State Judiciary as Chief
Magistrate Grade II under the leadership of Hon. Justice J. A. P. Oki as Chief
Judge. She was later promoted to Chief Magistrate Grade I in 1993. In 1998,
His Lordship was nominated to serve the nation as a member of the
Election Petition Tribunal for National Assembly and State Legislative
House, Enugu State.
In 1999, His Lordship also served as a member of the Election petition
Tribunal for Governorship Election, Bayelsa State. Having displayed some
exceptional qualities his Lordship was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar
(Administration) in 1999 and after a very careful selection she was
appointed as the Chief Registrar of the High Court in the same year (1999).
It pleased God to add another feather to His Lordship’s cap when in 2001
she was appointed to the High Court Bench as a Judge where she served in
various Judicial Divisions in Edo State.
His Lordship is a strong advocate of effective justice delivery, through
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). She is a Fellow of the Institute of
Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC). She is also a Fellow of the
Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICArb). His Lordship has
travelled several parts of the world and taken part in both local and
international conferences.
His Lordship served two terms as a member of the Governing Council of
the Baptist School of Theology. She got married to Mr. Martin Sunday
Edigin in 1977 and they are blessed with Children and grandchildren.
The vision of his Lordship is to establish in its best practice, effective and
efficient justice delivery system in Edo State. His Lordship is passionate
about the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution and the welfare of
Magistrates who are seen as unsung heroes.
His Lordship is committed to working out and the enhancement of physical
and mental wellness.

INDUSTRIAL COURT PRESIDENT LAUDS OBASEKI ON INVESTMENT IN 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.”