Edo Governor Swears in Five New Judges

In a bid to reinforce the judiciary’s integrity and efficiency, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has administered the oath of office to five new judges of the Edo State High Court.
During the swearing-in ceremony held at the Government House in Benin City, Governor Obaseki urged the newly appointed judges to uphold justice and fairness in adjudicating cases brought before them.
Addressing the judges, Governor Obaseki underscored the importance of judicial independence and the government’s commitment to strengthening the judiciary.
“It is with delight that today I am swearing in five additional judges to the bench of the Edo State High Court. When I came into office in 2016, one of the commitments we made was to strengthen the judiciary. This is because of its role in the democratic process. As a government, we are going to ensure that we support the judiciary.
“Let me start with the latest reforms which are, for me, assenting to the law providing for the autonomy of the judiciary. I believe that we are one of the few states in Nigeria today that have signed the bill of the autonomy of the judiciary into law.
“It is going through a learning curve but because we believe in the independence of the judiciary; we have demonstrated our commitment to wholistic reforms by enacting that law. We would work with the chief judge and members of the judiciary to continue fine-tuning the way and manner in which the laws are applied.
“You are all witness to the infrastructural upgrade which we have begun in the judiciary. From providing court rooms especially in Benin City to more accommodation for Judges. In the development plan we are currently designing, we have enshrined and ensured that within five years of implementing the new Edo State Master Plan, the infrastructural development for the judiciary will be completed.
“In line with the other reforms which we are undertaking in the state, we are encouraging the judicial arm of government to take advantage of the digital infrastructure that the State is currently investing in as we have built over 2,000 km fibre optic connection across the State. We now have a digital infrastructure in every area where we have a high court. Please take advantage of the investment made.
“I thank the chief judge for the support he has continued to extend to the executive. I know that the swearing-in of judges that we are experiencing today has raised quite a few issues. As part of our intention to reform the entire arm of government in Edo State, when we get complaints or petitions that some of our choices will not go well to strengthen the judiciary, I believe it is important to take a step back and re-examine the petitions critically. This is what has happened in this case.
“We are currently waiting on the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to let us know the outcome of its decision on the other judges we have received petitions for and we will comply with the decision of NJC.
“We congratulate the judges being sworn in today. They are lucky as they are likely to spend more time in the service because of the extension in the retirement age. We wish you well and hope you will always do right in all cases brought before you.
Responding on behalf of the newly sworn-in judges, Osayende Ikwuemosi Awawu expressed gratitude for the opportunity and pledged to execute their duties with diligence and impartiality.
“We are going to do our jobs and perform our duties to the best of our ability.”
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