Laleye Dipo in Minna
Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd); Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; and Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello have appealed that the judiciary be granted full autonomy to enable them carry out their duties unbiased and independently.
The trio spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital, yesterday at the opening ceremony of the training of Magistrates and District Court Judges of the state.
Tambuwal said granting full autonomy to the judiciary will curb corruption in the judicial system.
He stressed that the independence of the judiciary is paramount to the administration of justice and development in Nigeria.
“I want to appeal to my colleagues on all states to grant full autonomy to the Judiciary. If we do not do that, we cannot get an independent and impartial Judiciary. For Nigeria to grow, we need to have an independent and corrupt free judiciary.
“Judiciary is the last hope of the common man and we just to everything humanly possible as leaders in ensuring that the judiciary is fairly treated. If we do not give them training and findings, we should not expect them to perform magic because they are not magicians.”
Adding his voice to the call for full judicial autonomy, Abdulsalami, in his address, said the judiciary need to be encouraged in terms of their welfare adding that this can only be possible if they are granted full autonomy.
He stated that granting full autonomy would encourage the magistrates and judges and encourage them to carry out their performance optimally.
“I add my voice to that of the Sokoto State governor that the judicial work force needs to be encouraged in terms of their welfare and uplifting working conditions.”
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, said he decided to grant the state judiciary financial autonomy in order to make them independent while dispensing justice.
Bello however regretted the limitation of funds to the state due to the decline in the Federal allocation which has affected all sectors in the state adding that his administration is committed to financial autonomy for the judiciary.
He said that once the finances of the state improves, the state government would continue to disburse the needed funds as at when due.
Bello then urged his other governor colleagues to grant the judiciary in the various states financial autonomy.
Earlier, the Chief Justice of Niger state, Justice Aliyu Mayaki said the role played by the tier four courts in the judicial system is enormous as they are the courts closer to the people and are more accessible adding that their decisions are felt more by the people.
“These courts, being courts of summary jurisdictions, handle larger percentage of criminal cases in our state. Decisions emanating from these courts affect the security, peace, harmony and stability of the community they operate in.
“The training will provide the court judges to learn new and modern way to tackle the current challenges through judicial activism. These challenges are not only peculiar to our state and as such, there is need to equip our judges and prepare them on the best global practice in handling these cases.”
The five days judicial training of magistrates and district court judges of Niger state had in attendance 80 magistrates to enable them to be able to confront the new challenges confronting Tier four courts in the discharge of their duties.