• Urge other state govs to emulate him
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria has commended Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, for building a block of court for the Federal High Court in the state.
Chairman of the body, Chief T.J. Onomigbo Okpoko who called on other state governors to emulate governor Wike, described the working conditions of some Judges as unacceptable.
Okpoko, who spoke in Abuja, at the special session of the Supreme Court, yesterday, said the National Judicial Council, the Attorney General of the Federation and States must face up to these problems.
“There is an undeniable fact that a majority of our judges work in unacceptable conditions. Court halls in many jurisdictions in the country are in appalling state of repair and maintenance. Air-conditioned halls are an exception, rather than the rule.
“Instead of an approach of the courts of law, indicating or validating the authority and dignity of the institution of law, most of them are rather in a miserable condition. In the eyes of a criminal or potential criminal, the appearance of such a dirty and miserable approach to courts premises sends wrong signal.
“Just recently, the Government of Rivers State built a block of Court for the Federal High Court, in Port Harcourt. I understand also that the Court of Appeal hall in Rivers state is also being renovated by the state government. I congratulate our colleague, His Excellency, the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike for coming to the assistance of the court of justice.
“In the same vein, I call upon other state governors to look into the poor state of court halls and their furniture. The courts in every state provide judicial service to all persons residents in the state including the state government…”
Earlier, Okpoko, who spoke on behalf of the Body of SANs, at the occasion said the prosecution of many criminal cases in the country keep failing because of the apprehension of witnesses of the danger of appearing openly in court to testify as their safety thereafter may not be guaranteed by the State.
Okpoko who noted that it is the duty of the government to protect lives and properties of its citizens, also observed that current government activities and designed to apprehend criminals instead of preventive measures.
He charged the newly sworn in SAN’S to give total loyalty to the administration of justice, be in words and action and remain dedicated to members of the NBA.