By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on judges to show more commitment in the administration of justice.
This is as the governor charged judges to be fearless, firm and steadfast as they dispense justice for the good of the society.
Speaking during the swearing-in of the judges of Rivers State High Court and Customary Court of Appeal at the Government House, Port Harcourt Tuesday, Wike urged the judges to observe their oath of office as they work for the state.
Those sworn in by the Rivers State governor as judges for the state High Court included Justice Florence Atili Fiberesima (former Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice), Justice Mark Onyema Chuku (former Chief Magistrate 1/Deputy Chief Registrar), and Justice Lemea Ngbor-Abina (former Private Legal Practitioner).
For the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal, Wike inaugurated Justice Ericonda Amadi as a judge.
He said: “It is easy to take oath of office and difficult to abide by the oath of office. As judges, show commitment in the administration of justice.
“Wherever you serve, it is important for you to show commitment.”
The governor said that the Judiciary has the responsibility to correct the Executive whenever it goes wrong.
“This country can be better if the Judiciary plays its role. The Judiciary is the the most powerful. When the Executive is wrong, the Judiciary is there to correct it. Anything done by the Executive can be upturned by the Judiciary, if it is firm,” he said.
He called on the Judges to live up to the challenges of dispensing justice.
“I vied to be governor of Rivers State and there are challenges. You opted to be a judge, there are challenges. You should be mentally and psychologically prepared to face the challenges.
“After today, you are required to do tasking jobs. Jobs that will affect you and your family. You have taken oath and you must abide by the tenets of the oath,” he said.
He charged judges of the Rivers State Judiciary to be focused and not be distracted by other responsibilities.
He regretted that a few judges, aside serving in the state Judiciary, are also traditional rulers. He urged such judges to choose between the traditional institution and the Judiciary.
He said: “How can you go to court to seek justice and the judge that is supposed to preside over the matter is not there? You cannot continue to collect salaries and you are not working.
“We are taking the matter of judges who are traditional rulers up with the National Judicial Council for necessary action.”
Wike announced that the state government will legalise the owner-occupier policy of residential quarters for judges of the state Judiciary, adding that his administration is implementing the owner-occupier policy to encourage the Judiciary to serve the state better.