From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has noted with regret the seeming inability of the nation’s judiciary to always protect their judges.
The governor said if judges, who are committed to upholding the rule of law and giving judgement on the merit of the case before them, are not protected by their colleagues, they would remain victims of intimidation.
Governor Wike made the observation while swearing in four new judges of the Rivers State High Court at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The four new judges are: Popnen Sylvester Sunday, Daketima Gabriel Kio, Chinelo Chidubem Odili and Nsirim Chinwe Amanda.
Before their elevation, Justice Popnen S.Sunday and Justice Daketima G. Kio were both private legal practitioners, while Justice Nsirim and Chinelo C. Odili were Chief Magistrates.
The governor maintained that with the peak of political activities to set in, in 2022, there would be an increased level of intimidation of judges.
According to him, most political gladiators are bent to always have their way in every legal matter that involves them and never believe judgement to be against their prayers before the court.
Governor Wike pointed out that when judges know that their colleagues will rise in their defence, they would be courageous to handle cases, including political matter without shying away.
He said: “If what is going on now is not stopped by NJC, I can assure you no political matter will go before any judge and that judge will have any courage to handle such matter.
“The intimidation by NJC on these judges is quite alarming and I have to say it clearly, if you don’t give your judges support to do what they’re supposed to do, then, let us better forget that in 2023 that we will have it easy.