Interests Affecting Dispensation Of Justice – Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has attributed slow pace in the dispensation of justice and attempts to stifle the rights of the citizenry to the undue pressure on judges by some vested interests in the country.

Governor Wike stated this on Monday at the 61st Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference held at Port Harcourt.

He added that no excellence result can be achieved in the nation’s judicial system unless Nigerian lawyers engage in judicial activism.

The Rivers State governor stated that it is the only way to address the slow dispensation of justice, and attempts to stifle the rights of the citizenry.

The governor also berated the Nigerian Bar Association for focusing less on promoting and fighting for the values of good governance, democracy, judicial independence, human rights and the rule of law when there is urgent need for them to do so.

According to Wike, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and security operatives have violated the rights of the citizens.

“The invasion on personal liberty has been brazen and indiscriminate, such that even judges of the superior courts, including Supreme Court justices, have in the recent past been victims of midnight assaults on their premises and subjection to unlawful arrests and imprisonments,” Wike said.

“Never in our political history has Nigeria been so badly governed and denied of good governance with the federal government woefully failing in its basic duties to provide for the wellbeing and security of its own citizens as we have experienced in the last six years.

“On a daily basis the economic, social and political rights, including the rights to personal security, freedom of speech, association, dissent and peaceful protests, as well as the right to personal liberty are being violated with impunity by the present central administration and its security apparatus.

“Lately, the new devious trend is to tag security risks to innocent Nigerians and opposition elements and use the Immigration Authority to seize their international passports without a prior court order.”

Speaking further, Wike said it was time for everybody to work collectively towards building a strong legal system that is well-resourced, independent and effective in the administration of justice.

The governor added that his administration has built, rebuilt, furnished and equipped old and new courthouses, including the Rivers State High Court, the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court and the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt.

He noted that the Rivers State Government is also spending N16 billion to build the Nabo Graham-Douglas Nigerian Law School campus in Port Harcourt.

In his remarks, the Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad charged the NBA to lead the crusade to address the poor condition of service of national judicial officers.

He observed that administration of justice is being hampered by assault that litigants, especially politicians and some lawyers, launch on the judiciary when their ends are not met.

Justice Muhammad was represented at the event by Justice Mary Odili.

While urging the NBA to also take measures to discipline its erring members who do not only ridicule the judiciary but also abuse its processes, Justice Muhammad noted that as Nigeria faces the challenges of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, agitations for secession and resource control.

He believes the peace of the country now rests on the balance of the scale of justice.

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