Wike Says NBA Failed, Declares Financial Autonomy For Rivers Judiciary

by on June 2, 2015

The long drawn battle in the Rivers  State judiciary was laid to rest yesterday as the state governor, Nyesom Wike announced that  the state judiciary  will have financial  autonomy  so that it can work  independently without  being  muscled by the  executive.

Speaking  on  Monday  while  swearing-in  the  state  Acting  Chief  Judge,  Justice Daisy Okocha and the  Acting  President  of the Customary Court of Appeal of Rivers State, Governor Wike  stated  that  he would never  starve the  judiciary  of funds as a  tool for arm twisting  that arm of government.

The governor noted that the independence of the Judiciary was necessary for the smooth running of government in the state.

He however  expressed  his disappointment with the  attitude  of  the Bench during  the  crisis  in  the  state,  saying  that  they were divided when they were supposed  to  be united to fight the  destruction  of  the  judicial system by the out gone administration of Rotimi Amaechi

Governor  Wike  also   blamed the lackadaisical  attitude  of the Nigeria  Bar  Association,  NBA,  for failing  to defend the legal  profession  in the face of attacks from  a  desperate  administration  seeking  self preservation.

“As a lawyer, I am highly disappointed by the action of the NBA.  Something that you know is wrong, but everyone kept quiet. The actions that the NBA is taking now are belated.  Suspending the former Attorney-General is coming late in the day. They failed to speak up when everything was going wrong. We got to that level of decadence because NBA failed to act”

Wike  noted  that  he will  always  follow  due process  in appointing  judicial  officers,  stating  that  he will never make appointments  on the premise of  self preservation.

“If I believe in self preservation, I  would have appointed  my wife acting Chief Judge and the  second  in line who is my in-law as Acting  President  Customary Court of  Appeal.  But I am a person who believes in due process.  All through my leadership, we will follow due process in all appointments and actions.”

In her response, the  Rivers  State  Acting  Chief Judge,  Justice Daisy Okocha stated that there will be  zero  tolerance  to corruption  under her leadership.

Okocha commended the  governor  for  working towards the  financial  autonomy  of the judiciary and noted that  she would  ensure the  revival  of  Rivers  State.

The event  which  was  held at Government  House,  Port  Harcourt was attended  by  Judges,  Senior  lawyers and  key  stakeholders  of Rivers State.


Source: Daily Independent

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