By John Amieyeofori
Port Harcourt – Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers said on Friday that the State government was determined to strengthen the judicial system in promotion of good governance.
The governor made the assertion in Port Harcourt while handing over a Federal High Court complex constructed by his administration to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
Wike said the court complex was constructed in a bid to promote access to justice.
He said that part of the vision of the government in providing the Federal High Court complex was also to make the state a judicial hub in the South- South region.
Wike stressed that his administration had not only resolved to complete all abandoned court projects but to initiate new ones to meet the demand for judicial services.
The governor lamented that in Nigeria the justice delivery system was pretentiously federal but manifestly unitary.
‘’Our quest for having the most modern and advanced court houses and justice system cannot be completely achieved if we limit our judicial transformation agenda only to state Courts.
“This is part of the reason behind our inclusive and non-discriminatory policy thrust of providing modern court buildings and necessary operational support to Federal Courts at enormous financial cost to Rivers tax payers,” Wike said.
He said that his government had decided to provide the Federal High Court to serve and advance public interest and not to satisfy any individual.
‘’Accordingly, we have fulfilled our duty as leaders who mean well for our country and its progress, ‘’ the governor added.
He, however, called on the Federal Government to ensure regular maintenance of the building.
Wike, who criticised what he called `witch-hunting` of some judges, said the nation must find better ways of fighting judicial and other kinds of corruption within the framework of the rule of law.
In his remarks, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta said that the Federal High Court complex in Port Harcourt was the best to be constructed by a state government.
Auta lauded Wike for his commitment to the provision of relevant infrastructure for the Federal High Court.
The Chief Judge pledged that the court would dispense justice according to the law.
He stressed that following the official handing over of the complex, the court would start to use the facility on Monday, May 22, 2017.
The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara, also expressed joy that the state government had provided facilities to increase access to justice.
Mr Emmanuel Aguma (SAN), the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, commended the Wike administration for opening courts and promoting access to justice.
The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Onueze Okocha, also noted that the provision of the Federal High Court was a testimony to the increasing performance of Wike.
The Special Adviser on Special Projects to the Governor, Mr Dum Wite said the Complex had six courtrooms and exquisite judges’ chambers.
He said that the complex also had 12 holding cells, changing rooms for lawyers, exhibit rooms and a wide parking lot.
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