From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has enjoined the judiciary in the state to expedite action on the trials of suspected crimes of rape, banditry, murder and kidnapping.
He was speaking at the 2020/201 Legal Year held at the High Court Complex in Bauchi, on Tuesday.
Mohammed said that speedy trials would curtail criminal activity not only in the state but across the country.
The Governor appreciated the performance of the judiciary in the state in the area of speedy disposal of cases within the last legal year.
He said it was commendable that the state judiciary disposed of two-third of the cases filed, noting that the development would enhance the confidence of the common people in the judiciary.
He said in an efforts to protect the weak and vulnerable, his administration passed into law, the Violence Against Persons Protection Bill.
The Governor said that, under his watch, criminals who derive pleasure in putting young persons and their parents through agony would not go scot-free.
‘Since my assumption to the office on the 29th of May, 2019, I made a decision to operate an open-door policy of an all-inclusive government anchored on transparency, rule of law, accountability and good governance,’ he said.
‘To achieve that, I carried along other Arms of Government by collaborating and cooperating with them while recognising and respecting their independence as enshrined under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).’
According to him, the judiciary being a non-elective arm of government remained the stabilising factor in a democracy and needs understanding, cooperation and support of other arms of government.
‘Due to my avowed believed in Justice, fair play, rule of law and independence of the judiciary, I am doing everything humanly possible within the limited resources available to provide a conducive atmosphere for the judiciary to function effectively and efficiently in accordance with the international best practices.’
Governor Mohammed told the gathering that, during the year under review, he strived and fulfilled all the promises made to the judiciary during the last legal year ceremony notably the completion of the second phase High Court Complex of 8 Courts, Judges Chambers, Registrar’s Office, Court Cells and other offices.
Others are furnishing of the High Court Complex with state of the art and modern facilities, completion of the renovation of Fadaman Mada Courts and furnishing the Courts with modern facilities, completion of the renovation of former High Court 8 into two different courts, provision of brand new and befitting official cars to the Chief Judge, Grand Khadi, Judges of the High Courts and Khadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the state among others.
‘We always respond positively and promptly to memos presented by the Judiciary. These have been a milestone achieved for the judiciary in the outgoing year.’
He assured that, in the coming years, his administration will strive to do more in the areas of construction, renovation and provision of infrastructures for the judiciary.
The Governor who used the opportunity to the Commission Honorable Justice Tanko Mohammed High Court Complex second phase, pleaded with the judiciary to remain impartial and independent of all external pressures to enable those who appear before judges can have confidence that their cases will be considered fairly and in accordance with the law.
In a keynote address, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Yakubu Bello Kirfi, said the administration of Governor Bala Mohammed has recorded tremendous achievements in the judiciary in the year 2020.
The Bauchi State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar, who described the relationship between the judiciary and the executive arms of government as very cordial and collaborative with a lot of understanding, said the governor has done very well for the judiciary since his assumption of office.
The occasion was attended by the Deputy Governo Baba Tela and other top government functionaries.