President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan Monday tasked the judiciary to embark on a comprehensive reform programme in order to enhance its capacity, efficiency and productivity.
Jonathan who gave the charge while inaugurating the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the necessary reform in the system was one of the challenges the judiciary had to overcome.
The President who was represented by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, challenged the Federal High Court to meet the demands of prompt justice administration and further strenghten the faith of Nigerians in the judiciary.
‘’It is the sacred duty of the judiciary to help ensure stability within the polity through the promotion of the rule of law, strict guardianship of the constitution, and constant and unfailing application of the principles of justice.
“The judiciary cannot afford to compromise the essential principles set out in our constitution to ensure justice for all Nigerians irrespective of their political disposition, tribe and race.
‘’One issue of constant concern to all our compatriots is that the wheel of justice, still grinds rather slowly in our courts.
“It is instructive; however, that the Federal High Court has committed itself to turning the wheel faster and this we applaud and hope you will devote time to in your conference. Be rest assured that we are prepared to support all efforts to enhance the dispensation of justice,’’ the President stressed.
He reasoned that a vibrant judiciary, which fulfils its essence as the Third Estate of the Realm was not only a restraining influence on the likely excesses of the executive at the local, state or federal levels, but also builds a tradition of respect for, and inspires confidence in the law.
‘’I charge you to remain totally committed to the cause of justice, to be completely devoted to upholding the rule of law and to the respect and observance of due process.
“It is in doing this Federal High Court and indeed, all other courts of law shall inspire the confidence of the general public in the administration of justice’’.
The President commended the judiciary for standing up to the democratic test and acquitting itself creditably in the face of a barrage of litigations arising from the last elections, noting that
“just because the last election spun so many court cases was not a bad omen as some cynics postulated; it was rather an indication of the robust faith Nigerians have in our Judicial system.”
Adding, ‘’the Judiciary had sometimes been the scapegoats in our failed Republics; but today, in our current democratic journey, the Judiciary stands out as the shining lights in our country. I sincerely believe the Judiciary has come of age.’’