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2021/2022 Legal Year: Gov Yahaya reiterates commitment to ensuring independent Judiciary in Gombe

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2021/2022 Legal Year: Gov Yahaya reiterates commitment to ensuring independent Judiciary in Gombe

 

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has reiterated that his administration is committed to ensuring a strong and independent Judiciary in order to facilitate fair and speedy dispensation of justice as well as the overall transformation of the judicial arm of Government.

Gov. Yahaya stated this on the occasion of the commencement of the 2021/2022 Legal Year which held on Wednesday at the High Court Complex, Gombe.

The Governor said the occasion was significant as it provided an opportunity for the Judiciary to have a sober reflection, self-assessment and critical examination of its achievements and challenges in the preceding year.

“Let me reiterate that our administration is committed to ensuring a strong and independent Judiciary in order to facilitate fair and speedy dispensation of justice as well as the overall transformation of this very important arm of Government,” Gov. Yahaya said.

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He commended members of the Judiciary for the laudable achievements and successes recorded by the courts in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities during the year under review; notably the speedy dispensation of cases, especially in the lower courts where bulk of the cases are usually filed and presented for hearing.

He, however, charged the Judiciary on a better performance in justice delivery, commitment and hard work in the disposition of cases before them in the new Legal Year, adding that the respect for the rule of Law demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari has undoubtedly strengthened the crucial role of the Judiciary in the promotion and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.

According to the Governor, criminal justice delivery is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders in the judicial system.

“I find it imperative to commend the Judiciary for working in harmony with other sectors towards achieving our desired goal of entrenching a truly crime free and peaceful society. It is in this regard that I recently appointed 3 High Court Judges and 2 Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal to enhance speedy dispensation of justice. The State Government equally provided vehicles to the newly appointed Judges and Kadis to facilitate effective service delivery. Let me use this opportunity to assure the entire members of the Judiciary that we would continue to make available all necessary facilities that will enhance the effective discharge of their responsibilities.

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“Similarly, Government is aware of the challenges facing the Judiciary particularly in view of the current security challenges and high wave of crimes threatening peace and harmony in the North-East Sub-region and the nation in general. We are also mindful of the necessary financial requirements of the Judiciary. I am constrained to point out however, that Governments at all levels are forced to drastically cut down expenditure as a result of the global economic crisis occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic. That notwithstanding, I want to assure My Lords that our administration is fully committed towards meeting the demands of the Judiciary. It is against this backdrop that Government considered the demands of the Judiciary Staff Union (JUSUN) which resulted in the mutual agreement that brought to an end the recent strike action embarked upon by the Union. I must commend the dexterity, maturity and high sense of leadership exhibited by the Union.

“In our determination to ensure an independent Judiciary and Legislature and in line with the principle of separation of powers, I recently assented to the Law granting financial autonomy of the Judiciary and Legislative arms of government in the State.

“This Government will continue to support and sponsor manpower development and training and other aspects of welfare of Hon. Judges and Judiciary staffs in the State. This is aimed at producing well-equipped and skilled Judicial Officers and Staff, as well as providing a conducive working environment for the Judiciary.

“Similarly, Government is committed to the strengthening of the Ministry of Justice to make it proactive and a worthy stakeholder in the administration of Criminal Justice in the State,” he stated.

Gov. Yahaya appealed to the Judges and all stakeholders to ensure speedy determination of cases in the spirit of the New Legal Year and in order to decongest the Prisons, adding that “Justice delayed is Justice denied”.

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