The Edo State Judiciary on Monday 9th January, 2017 inaugurated the family court to exclusively handle matters pertaining to child abuse in compliance with the Child Rights Law 2007. The inauguration of the Court marks the beginning of the implementation of the Edo State Child Rights Bill which was passed into law in 2007 and was assented to by the then Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor.
In his speech at the inauguration, the Hon. Chief Judge of the state, Hon. Justice Cromwell Idahosa, said the Child Rights Act extensively caters for the interest and rights of the child, adding that the family court would have exclusive jurisdiction to handle all matters pertaining to children in both civil and criminal matters.
“With the inauguration of this court, there shall now be speedy trial in matters relating to children’s welfare and protection, specifically from undue exposure and exploitation. The court will strive to provide families with the best possible outcome in child rights cases in accordance with the law and best global practices.”
The Chairperson of the Family Court Implementation Committee Hon. Justice H. A. Courage Ogbebor commended the Hon. Chief Judge for ensuring that the Family Court is inaugurated during his tenure as Chief Judge Edo State and also commended the former Chairperson of the Family Court Implementation Committee Hon. Justice N. A. Imoukhuede for her dedication.
The State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, said if Nigeria could implement the family court, it would go a long way to address some of the challenges facing families. He gave the assurance that the State Government would support the Judiciary.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the state branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ede Asenoguan Esq., said the inauguration of the court would place the state among the few ones in the country that have established a family court to cater for the rights of children as envisaged by the Child Rights Law of Edo State 2007.The NBA State branch Chairman observed;
“We are happy that today, our collective dream of caring for the Rights of our children has been given a boost by this inauguration today. Certainly, our children are vulnerable and violated. They sure deserve better and I believe that no effort should be spared in ensuring that the Rights of Children are protected and enforced whenever or wherever same is breached or violated,” he said.
Goodwill messages also came in from the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria represented by K. S. Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), SMILE (Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihood and Household Empowerment), UNICEF, NAPTIP, NPDC, Edo State Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development and Edo State Children’s Parliament.
The occasion also witnessed the formal launching of the Edo State Family Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017 which is the applicable rules of procedure in the Family Court.
The Court is constituted by a sitting Judge or Magistrate and two assessors who are to be sworn-in by the Hon. Chief Judge of the State.
We thank God that the Family Court has finally been created, I also thank the CJ, Hon Justice C.O.Idahosa for keeping his promise to launch the Family Court before he retires.This is a dream come true for all lovers of the Edo Child.I thank all those organisations like the UNICEF, Ministry of Women Affairs , the Children’s Parliament and all the numerous NGOs and Activists who ensured that the Family Court was indeed launched, for without the Family Court you cannot access the protections of the Child Rights Law.
Hon. Justice Nogi Imoukhuede.
Yes, we thank God for the creation of the family court and putting Edo Judiciary online was a classical idea. As a member of the public I am happy that the website has recent information. The only challenge so far is that applications relating to children and adoption applications are not displayed on the website.
AS JUSTICE CROMWELL PLEASES!
My lord CJ, my lords, CR,
Once more I will like to thank Hon Justice C.O. Idahosa for his usual stroke of brilliance! I have had cause many times in my judgment writing to look for precedence. The law reports are of no use because they are appellate decisions, so I had to subscribe to LRCN High Court Judgments by Ogbeide Ihama for precedence. Now with your book, I have a treasure trove. I carefully read your profile, I knew you are brilliant but your profile revealed the extent of your brilliance.I have always strived to walk in the path of my betters.
Going through your ‘Successful career in pictures’’ brought back many forgotten memories m”lord.I remember I was also at the Ibadan NBA Conference when we heard the horrible news that you and your nephew Ehiogie were shot. The whole conference was in disarray and we did not know if you were still alive. Everybody ran for their lives! Those were in those horrible days of military rule.I thank God m’lord for your life, you are really a man of destiny.
As your amiable wife said at your birthday party, you are retired but not tired! We are indeed hearing from the right source, who can argue with her? As I always say without fear of contradiction, I love the way your treat your wife, you are a gentleman par excellence! I always tell people that all we want is love and respect not necessarily money, although money is not a bad thing. Nobody prays to be poor, as the late Marilyn Monroe sang in the film ‘Gentleman prefer blones – ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! With due respect to you Hon Justice Peter Akhiekhero. Girls may age but diamonds are a girls best friend because diamonds do not age!
I first met Justice C.O.Idahosa in 1983 when I came to Benin, to begin my career as a lawyer at the then Bendel State Ministry of Justice. Justice Idahosa was one of our vibrant seniors, very hardworking and articulate. My lord the CJ was also a very active Bar man and many of us juniors looked up to him as our mentor .Justice Idahosa was elected the Secretary to the Benin Branch from 1984 to 1986 and his tenure was a very successful one. You can imagine our shock and surprise when Justice C.O. Idahosa accepted to be a Judge! Judges then we’re not well paid and the office was not attractive to successful lawyers. I could not imagine how Justice Idahosa who was a very active man could cope with such a sedentary job! With benefit of hindsight ,one is not surprised, since his Uncle and mentor was also a judge; Hon Justice Joseph Oghogho Idahosa of blessed memory. When my lord CJ became a judge, we juniors trembled when we went to his Court since he was so versed in the law, due to his vibrant law practice. Justice C.O. Idahosa could see through all our tactics! I am happy to say that Justice Idahosa’s brilliance continued to blaze new frontiers for the Edo State Judiciary especially when he became our Chief Judge.It is to his credit that the Edo State High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2012 was promulgated during his tenure. Previously we were still using the High Court Civil Procedure Rules of Bendel State which had become very archaic. The present High Civil Procedure Rules is innovative and introduced the practice of front loading of court processes, which is designed to fast track court proceedings. The new rules has also made trials in civil proceedings more transparent, since all parties are now expected to submit photocopies of all documents to be tendered, that way the opposing party cannot spring surprises unlike before. There are so many innovations in the Rules which I do not want to bore the reader with.
My Lord the C.J. also brought Edo State Judiciary to the information age with the creation of the Edo State Judiciary website at http://www.edojudiciary.gov.ng. Now our judgments, legal articles and activities can be seen and accessed all over the world.
As my lord the Chief Judge proceeds to his well deserved retirement, after a glorious service to humanity, my family and I wish him and his lovely family, God’s abundant blessings and favour.I am confident that my lord the CJ still has a lot to offer our great country Nigeria.
It is also to the credit of my lord that the Family Court and the Multi Door Court House were established.
My lord Hon Justice C.O.Idahosa, the best is yet to come in Jesus name.I was telling Chief G.B. Nkemnacho, my first boss in the Bendel State Ministry of Justice that you were retiring, he exclaimed ‘that small boy! Chief Nkemnacho is 86 years and is still very active and articulate.I am confident that the good Lord has more in store for you and your family. I hope my lord you will make yourself available to us for your counsel and advice.
Thank you very much my lord Hon Justice C.O.Idahosa.
Hon Justice N.A.Imoukhuede
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