By CHIDINMA EWUNONU-ALUKO
IBADAN- Oyo State Judiciary on Thursday called for financial autonomy for efficient justice delivery.
The Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Munta Abimbola made the call at the state’s 2022 Lower Court Judges Week in Ibadan.
Abimbola, represented by Justice Iyabo Yerima of the State’s High Court, said the autonomy was important because the judiciary was responsible for the interpretation of the law and needed to be free to perform its functions.
Abimbola said the judiciary’s dependent on the state government for finances was an aberration to the Constitution.
To deliver its mandate effectively to the public, the Oyo CJ said the judiciary should not be funded through the state’s Ministry of Finance.
The theme of the week was “Attaining a truly free and autonomous judiciary.”
The President, Oyo State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice M. A. Abass, also called for the urgent inclusion of the lower court as judicial officers
Abass, represented by Justice Joy Ajadi of the Customary Court of Appeal, said the inclusion would boost their morale and reduce the backlog of cases in the higher courts.
Abass urged the judges to remain hopeful, perform their duties diligently with high integrity and fear of God.
“Strive to perfect your character, shun all forms of corruption and uphold the virtue of honesty and uprightness, don’t be influenced by anyone including the politicians,” he said.
He reiterated the commitment of the heads of court to ensure the improvement of the welfare of magistrates and Grade A presidents.
“We will ensure that the court rooms are adequately furnished with modern facilities that will provide effective case management.
“We are also committed to your personal welfare and continuous training throughout your career,” he said.
Also, Justice Eni Esan (Rtd) urged the judiciary to always ensure prompt disposal of cases, quick delivery of justice to preserve the role of the judiciary because justice delayed is justice denied.
Esan urged the government and relevant stakeholders to urgently tackle the issue of insecurity in the country and improved on the well-being of the people.
Earlier, the Lower Court Judges Association Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Idowu, reiterated the quest for the judiciary to be free and financially autonomous.
According to Idowu, Oyo State is known to be pace setters and should be seen as that because the lower court presently deserves to be accorded it rightful status. (NAN)