Nigeria

Benue governor ranks state’s judiciary high, advocates financial autonomy for judiciary

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has ranked the judiciary in the state, as one of the best in the country.

The Governor who disclosed this while swearing in three High Court Judges in Makurdi on Thursday also reiterated his call for complete autonomy for the Judiciary.

The Judges who were sworn in at the New Banquet Hall of the Government House, Makurdi include, Felicia Mnguashima Ikyegh Esq, Omale Gabriel Anebi Esq and Shishi John Mkoholga Esq.

Governor Ortom said, “I wish to use this occasion to again stress my total support not only for the financial Autonomy but complete Autonomy for the Judiciary.

“To this end, I wish to recommend that all entitlements due to the Judiciary should be deducted at source from the Federation Accounts and remitted directly to the Heads of Courts for onward payment to Judicial Staff.

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“Specifically, all matters of welfare of Judicial Staff – Salary, Pension and Gratuity should henceforth be handled by the National Judicial Council.

“This I believe has become necessary for the smooth and effective operations of the Judiciary in a democratic setting. This is why I assented to the Benue Judiciary Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) Law, 2021. This was also to strengthen my policy of non-interference of Government in the affairs of the Judiciary.”

On the ranking of the judiciary, Governor Ortom said, “The Judiciary in Benue state ranks high in the country owing to the quality of justice dispensation.

“In spite of this high ranking, however, the State Judiciary was bedevilled with a gross deficit in infrastructure, ranging from poor courtroom facilities to dilapidated residential accommodation for Judicial Officers and lack of other basic amenities required for the smooth running of the offices.

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“Our Administration has, however, been able to renovate and furnish Judges’ chambers, High Courts and other Lower Courts across the state.

“In addition, we have embarked on the construction of a new High Court complex at Aliade and other Courts ranging from Upper Area Courts, Chief Magistrate Courts and Area Courts across the State. This is to provide easy access to justice to the citizenry.

“Furthermore, our administration has also consistently sponsored Judges and Lawyers to Conferences within and outside the country to improve the quality of their work”, he noted.

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