President Muhammadu Buhari, governors of Plateau, Ekiti, Rivers, Oyo, justices of various courts, senior legal luminaries and people from all sectors of the society on Saturday converged on St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Rantiya, Jos, for the Thanksgiving Mass in honour of the President, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem to celebrate her appointment.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, described Justice Monica as a Justice of good character and dexterity who emerged as the head of the second highest Court in Nigeria by merit.
He said since her appointment a year ago, she has continued to demonstrate diligence in handling the affairs of the Court of Appeal and strengthening reforms towards the speedy and honest delivery of justice to Nigerians of all backgrounds.
He charged her to put in her best and raise the bar in the dispensation of justice by assisting the government in fighting corruption, crime and acts inimical to national development.
Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, said the celebrant is a woman of substance who has a rich pedigree in the Bench and is known to be fearless, uncompromising and intolerant of inducement in the course of discharging her duties.
Fayemi said the success of women like Justice Monica creates more room for Nigerian women to occupy other sensitive offices and perform creditably.
Host governor, Simon Bako Lalong, said the thanksgiving mass and grand reception was organised to honour the Court of Appeal President and give glory to God for lifting her from humble beginnings to the peak of her career.
He said the State was very proud of her achievements and has decided to celebrate her and showcase her as an example to the world because of her diligence, hard work and the grace of God.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who was a classmate of Justice Dongban-Mensem at the Nigerian Law School, also sent in his goodwill message asking her to continue to do her best in serving Nigeria.
In his homily, Catholic Bishop of Bauchi Diocese, Rev. Dr. Hillary Dachelem, said the turnout of people from all aspects of life and various backgrounds to celebrate Justice Monica is an indication that Nigerians can live in peace and collaborate to build a greater Nigeria.
He called on leaders to avoid promoting divisive tendencies that promote intolerance, violence and hatred as God created humanity with peace and love in his image.
Justice Monica Dongban in her response said she was overwhelmed by the show of love from the Church, people and Government of Plateau State, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, as well as Nigerians from all walks of life that have come out to celebrate her.
She said she is encouraged by their show of love to remain firm in her resolve to do justice to all people according to the laws of the land and the oath of office she undertook, knowing fully that God is the judge of all.
Photocredit: Plateau State Governor’s Directorate Of Press