(By Paul Osuyi – ASABA)
Not comfortable with the manner security operatives raided homes of some judges last weekend, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday cautioned the nation’s security apparatus to operate within the confines of the law.
Okowa described the invasion of the judges’ homes as an act of intimidation against the judiciary, adding that the action was a threat to democracy and the rule of law.
He spoke in Asaba during the thanksgiving mass to kick-off the 2016/2017 legal year of the state judiciary.
Represented by his deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, the governor lauded the judiciary for its immense support to democracy and his administration, and pledged to continue to create the enabling environment for the judiciary to operate.
He said that the role of the judiciary in any society could not be over stressed, just as he called on members of the bar and bench to uphold ideals that will not defame the profession.
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku, Most Rev. Michael Elue, charged judicial officers to seek divine assistance from the holy spirit in the dispensation of justice.
Bishop Elue sued for the independence of the three tiers of government, calling on the judiciary to remain the hope of the common man by living above aboard.
He cautioned judges involved in ceaseless adjournment of cases and constant use of legal jurisdiction to obstruct legal proceedings, urging that they desist from the act.
The Catholic Bishop urged members of the Bar and Bench to uphold fearlessness, objectivity and the rule of law in all their actions.
At a special court session to mark commencement of the legal year, the Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro, reassured that the judiciary is committed to dispensation of justice to all manner of persons in the state without fear or favour.
“We shall observe the judicial oath and do justice to all manner of men and women without fear or favour. But to those who may be dissatisfied with our judgements, decisions or rulings, I dare say that name-calling, unsubstantiated allegations and hasty petition writing should be slowly adhered to,” Umukoro advised.
While thanking judges, lawyers and other judicial workers for their hard work during the past legal year, he lauded the executive arm of government for its continuous support of the judiciary, and thanked all Deltans for having faith in the judiciary.