Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has stressed the need for all functionaries in all the arms of Government to see and conduct themselves as joint stakeholders in the delivery of good governance to the people.
The Governor who stated this at the swearing in of four new Judges in the State, said “in the process of performing our respective constitutional functions we must commit to mutual respect for the independence, principles and roles of one another. That is the only way we can succeed as one government.”
Stressing that it is important for all 3 Arms of the Government to work together for the common good of the Kogi Society, he added that the process of their confirmation as judges demonstrates the interconnection between the three arms of government under Nigerian Law, and Kogi State in particular.
While regretting that the Judiciary remains overworked all over the nation with Kogi State not an exception, he assured that his administration will continue to add quality manpower to the Bench as quickly as procedure and finances will allow.
He further assured that his administration will find other, equally important, mechanisms for expanding access to justice for the good people of Kogi State.
He disclosed that it is in pursuit of this objective that ‘we set up the Office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC) with the mandate to monitor, promote and protect the human rights of residents of the State, especially those who cannot afford legal representation’.
“The PDCRC has since commenced work and I am pleased to announce that helpless people have started accessing their services free of charge. Some have even been released from prison where they were languishing on serious charges which may ultimately cost their lives if we did not help them.”
“The Kogi State Office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC) is further demonstration of our commitment as an administration to protecting the human and civil rights of citizens within our territory. We urge those in need of their services to have free recourse to them.”
He therefore urged the people of the State to take advantage of the Commission and ensure they get legal redresses for free as the rights of citizens of the country which are being violated was no longer something to be tolerated.
While disclosing that the new judges were duly recommended by the National Judicial Council, he said he made the appointments pursuant to section 270(2), section 271(2) and (3) and section 281(2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
He added further that the Kogi State House of Assembly graciously confirmed them, thus their swearing which has now made them critical pillars of the administration of Justice in Kogi State.
He expressed the hope that given the fact that the new judges are experienced legal professionals and outstanding jurists; they will provide excellent and honest adjudication and charged them to execute all the functions of their high office with erudition and the fear of Almighty God.
Earlier in his opening address, the State Chief Judge, Justice Henry Olusiyi who described Governor Bello as a judiciary friendly Governor, applauded the swiftness with which he gave the nod for the swearing in of the new justices immediately their recommendations were approved by the NJC.
The new judicial officers are Barrister Bamidele Rotimi Aina and Barr Aishat Uwani Mohammed who are now Judges in the State High Court while Barrister Jibril Isah Anaja and Barrister Levi Nda Animoku have been appointed as Justices in the State Customary Court of Appeal.