Dennis Naku, Port Harcourt
RIVERS State Governor Nyesom Wike accused the judiciary of craving independence in performing their functions without intimidation, not just budget control.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor said it was imperative because no government or country could make significant progress if the judiciary is not allowed to perform its functions independently.
Wike said this at the official presentation of 29 brand new Renault Koleos 2020 SUVs to the presidents of the regular state courts of Rijeka in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, saying the judiciary was far weaker than the other two government branches.
He argued that no one would be able to talk about democracy without the rule of law, and added that the judiciary was key in any society ruled by the rule of law.
“If Nigeria wants to move forward, if this country wants development, then we must enable the judiciary to work independently and do its job,” the governor said.
Wike described it as the unfortunate unwillingness of the judiciary in Nigeria to seek true independence in order to carry out its functions without harassment and intimidation.
“They’ve always said they want to be independent, but to be honest, you don’t want to be independent. I have never seen the hand of a government so frightened, intimidating by other hands of government like the judiciary. I’ve never seen that in my life.
“The independence of the judiciary you are looking for is only for the budget. But you’re not talking about independence about how you can do your job without any influence or intimidation. “Independence is greater when you are able to do your job without being influenced by anyone,” he said.
The governor revealed that he told the state attorney that there was an urgent need to amend the law to expand the jurisdiction of the ordinary appellate court, as Supreme Supreme Court issues were still pending in the state’s Supreme Court.
“So we will expand their jurisdiction to allow them to take over government issues in all local governments,” the governor said.
The governor said that the vehicles were given to the presidents of the Ordinary Court in order to enable them to perform their functions unhindered.
In a speech, Rijeka’s state prosecutor and justice commissioner, Professor Zaccheus Adangor (SAN), praised the governor for his unwavering support for the judiciary and advised users to continue to administer justice more quickly and efficiently.
The President of the Ordinary Court of Appeal, State of Rivers, Judge CI Gabriel-Nwankwo, said the provision of official vehicles would inspire and motivate users to do their job.
For his part, the Chief Justice of the State of Rijeka, Judge Adam Iyayi-Lamikanra, said Governor Wike’s commitment to improving the welfare of judicial officials in the country remains unrivaled.
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