By Seriki Adinoyi
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has charged Nigerians to support the Judiciary, particularly judges in the dispensation of justice and the sustenance of the rule of law which is key to the survival of democracy.
The governor gave the charge at the valedictory court session in honour of the retiring President, Plateau State Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Julia Asabe Kyentu, who has attained the age of 65.
He said: “We are in a political era where there is pressure on the courts to interpret the law as it is and set the standards for orderly conduct in society.
“Both members of the bar and bench must do everything possible to safeguard the integrity of the Judiciary which is not only the hope of the common man as commonly referred to, but the hope of democracy, good governance and societal development.”
While eulogizing the many virtues of the retiring Judge, Lalong said: “For those who know Justice Julia Kyentu either within or outside the courtroom, the experiences may vary, but the testimony of her integrity, hard work, intellectual capacity and judicial depth is the same. Hon. Justice Julie Kyentu has over the years not only demonstrated her deep knowledge of the law and its application to the dispensation of justice, but has also shown courage to administer justice without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
“As a woman, Justice Kyentu is among the roll call of distinguished Plateau daughters who have broken the ceiling to establish the fact that women are more than capable of performing any function in society if given the opportunity.”
The Chief Judge of Plateau State, Hon. Justice Yakubu Gyang Dakwak, described Justice Kyentu as an astute judicial officer who put in her best in delivering justice to all manner of persons without fear or favour, adding that the Plateau Bench will miss her greatly and the vacuum created will be difficult to fill.
The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Chrysanthus Ahmadu, and the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jos Branch, Mr Yakubu Bawa, described the retiring justice as a woman of dignity and integrity who never succumbed to pressure from various quarters to subvert the cause of justice.
They added that her faith in God and adherence to the constitution and oath of office enabled her to carry out her assignment and finish without blemish.
Responding, Justice Kyentu thanked God for the opportunity and privilege to serve in the Judiciary in various capacities, and reaching the peak as the President of the state Customary Court of Appeal.
She said her experience over the years has reaffirmed her belief that God orders the steps of all his children and uses them in the way and manner he deems fit. She said despite all challenges, she was leaving the bench very fulfilled, and hoping that her successors will take the Judiciary to the next level.
Meanwhile, Lalong has approved the appointment of Justice Sati Patrick Dabit in her place in acting capacity.