THE executive council of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin Branch, led by its chairman, Mr Pius Oiwoh, has congratulated the eight new judges of the Edo State Judiciary, with a charge on them to administer justice with fairness, speed, and impartiality.
In statement signed by Publicity Secretary, Ogaga Emoghwanr, it pledged to “as usual” collaborate at all times, “with the newly sworn in judges and to continue with the longstanding traditional synergy that co-exists between the Bar and the Bench.
“The Bar and the Bench are one big indivisible family, like Siamese twins, God shall continue to keep us together”.
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki last week boosted the state’s judiciary by swearing in eight judges, with a charge to dispense justice with impartiality and fairness.
Obaseki, who promised his administration’s support for the judiciary, assured that in the new fiscal year 2021, he would focus on rebuilding courts and judges’ quarters outside the state capital, just as he promised to hand over the newly built judges’ quarters to the chief judge later in the week.
The governor also assured judges in the state that he would provide the necessary support for them to adopt new technology in the dispensation of justice. The gesture of support, he added, would be extended to the federal judicial institutions in the state, beginning with the planned relocation of the Court of Appeal from its present location.
Obaseki said: “We are making history again in Edo State with the swearing-in of eight new judges. This is part of our avowed commitment as a government to strengthen the judiciary. As I have always said that for us to have a virile democracy, we must strengthen the rule of law.”
The governor, while urging the judges to carry out their duties without fear or favour, since “their appointment was divine,” promised to help invest in the required infrastructure.
Obaseki added: “Yes, we are appointing judges we have to also provide the environment for the judges to work efficiently and smoothly. We are going to be handing over the court complex this week. This year we will be fixing and rebuilding the judges quarters and courts outside of Benin City.
“We are also going to be working with the judiciary to deploy a lot more technology, particularly in our courtroom to ease the burden of work on our judges. We are in the executive currently undergoing a major transformation by utilising technology in all our processes and in how we work in government, with COVID-19, it is a bit difficult if not risky to have physical meetings as we used to have in the past and so we are using technology carry on government activities this we believe is the future and we want to encourage the judiciary to adopt the use of technology as much as it is possible in carrying out your activities.
“We are committed to relocating the Court of Appeal from its current location in Ikpoba Hill and just as we support our local judiciary, we will also extend hands of support to other Federal Judicial officers and institutions in our state.”
Present at the colourful ceremony held inside the New Festival Hall in Government House, with strict observance of COVID-19 protocol, was the first female chief judge of the state, Justice Constance Momoh who could not hide her excitement seeing seven new female judges of the Edo State High Court being sworn in by Obaseki
The Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice E. A. Edigin, led other serving and retired judges of the Edo State High Court in gracing the occasion.
The celebrants and guests were later treated to a reception.