DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has challenged the Judiciary to speed up the process of justice delivery.
Governor Okowa made the call in an address he delivered at the opening ceremony of the new legal year 2017/2018 in Delta State. The occasion took place in Asaba.
“One of the fundamental principles of justice is the right to fair hearing and the imperative of timely delivery of justice; justice delayed, the saying goes, is justice denied,” the Governor said, adding, “It behoves you men of the bench, wig and silk to, as a matter of exigency, interrogate the use of interlocutory injunctions and the requests for adjournments so that they do not obstruct or delay the course of justice.”
The Governor who attended special court session to mark the ceremony accompanied by aides continued, “I recognise the Police and other government and security agencies have been an important part play in the administration of justice; nonetheless, it is obligatory on all concerned to take urgent steps to address this situation in order to gain public confidence in the justice system.”
“Justice is a cherished ideal of the modern pluralistic society, not least of all in a democratic society as ours, so, the opening of the new legal year is also, an appropriate time for soul searching; it is one that requires everyone involved in the legal profession to reflect on and re-examine the way that justice is generally administered,” Governor Okow who pledged his administration’s commitment to encourage and deepen the course of justice in the state reiterated.
The Governor disclosed that the creation of three new judicial divisions in the state by his administration gave a boost to legal practice in the state, adding, “this administration has invested in capacity building as we as established Public Advisory Services to ensure that all Deltans regardless of status have access to free legal services; as part of our commitment to build an enviable judicial system, construction work for the building of new High Court buildings at Asaba and Warri will continue as soon as the contract review process is concluded.”
Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro in address, said, “the legal year, as we all know is an annual event, which in English law tradition, as well as other common law jurisdictions is the Calender during which the Judges sit in court.”
He reeled out the activities of the Judiciary within the last one year, and scored it high in the delivery of justice.
Earlier, as part of occasion to mark the event, Holy Mass was celebrated by the Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku Diocese, Most Rev. Michael Elue at the Emmanuel the Saviour Catholic Church, Asaba.
The Bishop urged the Judiciary to remain focused on equity and justice, stating that Judges are not expected to operate at mediocre level or unjust in judgement.
Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, among other personalities, attended the ceremony.