The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, Peter Mbah, has said his administration would ensure full autonomy of the state judiciary if elected.
Mbah, who said judicial reform would be part of his administration’s institutional reforms pledged to ensure law review, digitalisation of courts and case manage management in the state.
He spoke at the opening of the 2022 Law Week of the Enugu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) themed “The role of lawyers in transitional democracy,” yesterday.
Mbah equally assured that there would be access to justice by the vulnerable members of the society through efficient legal aid regime, adding that there will be a lift of the correctional facilities to make them true correctional centres.
“I consider myself first and foremost a lawyer. So, after all the elections, after we must have won and done what we promised to do, I will still ultimately and essentially remain a lawyer. So, as part of our strategies to actualise our vision for Enugu State, we propose transparent and inclusive governance, which will see us strengthening our institutions and those institutions include the judiciary, the public service, and, of course, the security agencies.
“Under the judiciary, we intend to review our laws so that the laws of Enugu State will be in line with the requirements of modern times. We are going to constitute a high-powered committee that will review our laws to make sure that they are in tune modern realities, dynamics and global standards.
“Strengthening the judiciary also means that we will ensure full financial autonomy for the judiciary in line with the amendments to the 1999 Constitution. So, we will work with the Chief Judge of Enugu State and the Ministry of Finance to put in place mechanisms that will ensure full financial autonomy for the judiciary.
“If you also look at our programmes in our manifesto towards strengthening our institutions, we propose to digitise our court and case management process. Access to justice is also an area we are equally very interested in. Our proposed legal aid regime and procedure will ensure that the vulnerable in our society have access to justice. We intend to review the process of remanding the accused in correctional facilities. We must also make sure that our system ensures that the correctional facilities are truly correctional centres rather than a place for terrorising the vulnerable in our society,” Mbah stated.