PORT HARCOURT (Sundiata Post) – Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that never again would the people of the state be denied access to justice in the form of the closure of courts.
Wike also declared that never again would the state judiciary be compelled to go cap in hand to the executive arm to beg for funds as his administration has instituted self-accounting status for the judiciary as well established the independence of the judiciary.
The governor spoke on Thursday at the Rivers State Chief Judge’s Ceremonial Court in Port Harcourt while declaring open the 2015 /2016 Legal Year. The last legal year ceremony held on 11th January, 2013 before the last administration plunged into judiciary crisis.
The governor stated that his administration has also released funds to the state judiciary for capital projects in courts and judicial facilities across the state.
According to him, his administration released N350m to the State High Court for capital projects, N150m to the State Customary Court of Appeal and another N200m to the High Court for additional capital projects. He additional capital funds will also be approved for the Customary Court of Appeal.
He said : “As a political scientist and lawyer, I appreciate the interplay of law and politics in a democratic setting and in particular, the preeminence of law in social engineering and achieving good governance. It is the knowledge acquired from these disciplines that have made me appreciate the judiciary as one critical area for the success of our administration.
“Let me remind us all of our collective responsibility to respect and uphold the core values of the rule of law, equity and separation of powers. Above all, the judiciary is so vital and essential to the just and effective governance”, he said.
He noted that the administration has commenced the building of a new law centre for lawyers in the state, construction of a new Federal High Court complex and judges quarters.
Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Daisy Okocha commended Governor Wike for the restoring the pride of the judiciary.
She said that the governor has enhanced the independence of the judiciary through the implementation of self accounting platform.
The legal year was preceded by a Church Service.