A legal luminary and former president of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, OCJ Okocha has berated the NBA and the National Judicial Council for succumbing to the pressure of suspending judges that were recently arrested by operatives of the Directorate of State Security, DSS.
This is also as the state Governor, Barr Judson Wike, condemned the NBA and NJC for what he described as the lack of courage of the two judicial bodies to protect the integrity of the said judges.
The duo, who spoke during the official opening of the 2016/2017 Legal year at the state judiciary in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital, expressed worry that judges who preside over the courts that are known as the last hope of the common man will be subjected to humiliation.
According to Okocha, SAN, while the Judiciary must support the fight against corruption, such must be done within the rule of law.
“We have been told in the media that that was all part of war against corruption, which is presently ongoing in Nigeria. I must say that I barely believe that what we heard and read, especially what we have heard and read of not being denied or controverted by top ranking members of the Federal Executive Council, including the Hon Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malawi, SAN, and the Hon Minister of Information, who is also a legal practitioner.
“The president of Nigeria has further directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to take over investigation of the matter. I find it rather strange and bizarre that top ranking judicial officers, unarmed and defenseless, who ordinarily ought to be safeguard and protected by government fins themselves being subjected to invasion of their places of residence and forcibly arrested by armed and masked security agencies of the same government they serve,” Okocha states.
In her address, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice AdamaIyayi-Lamikanra, stated that the judiciary has experienced tremendous progress since the courts were reopened.
She informed the gathering of the approval of two new judges to be appointed by the governor in the state, adding that they will be sworn-in by the governor next week. The CJ, however, regretted the slow adjucation of cases due to attitude of some lawyers and called for a change of attitude.
Hon Justice Iyayi-Lamikanra informed that 10,908 cases while currently pending in the state high court, while 4913 were disposed of between January 2015 and September 2019. She further started that 51 cases were currently of din at the Juvenile Court, while 121 have been disposed of.
She thanked judicial officers, the state government and the press for the support they have given to her leadership and prayed God’s protection.
High point of the celebration was the presentation of the 2nd edition of The Adjudicator, a journal of the state judiciary.

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