By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state Monday sworn-in eight new judges into the state high court where he urged them to be impartial in their dispensation of justice and promised the judiciary necessary support to adopt new technology in the dispensation of justice.
Present at the ceremony held in the New Festival Hall in the government house with strict observance of Covid-19 protocol was the first female chief judge of the state, Justice Constance Momoh.
Obaseki said his administration would this year focus on rebuilding courts and judges quarters outside the state capital as he promised to hand over the newly built Judges Quarters to the Chief Judge later this week.
He said he would also extend support to federal judicial institutions in the state with the planned relocation of the Court of Appeal from its present location.
He said “We are making history again in Edo state with the swearing in of eight new judges. This is part of our avowed commitment as a government to strengthen the judiciary. As I have always said that for us to have a virile democracy, we must strengthen the rule of law which means making sure that the judiciary is if not one of the strongest arms of our democracy.
“I urge you to carry on your duties without fear or favour. This appointment is from God and not from any man.
“We will continue as executive to help invest in the required infrastructure. Yes we are appointing judges we have to also provide the environment for the judges to work efficiently and smoothly. We are going to be handing over the court complex this week”.
“This year we will be fixing and rebuilding the judges quarters and courts outside of Benin City. We are also going to be working with the judiciary to deploy a lot more technology particularly in our courtroom to ease the burden of work on our judges.
“We are in the executive currently undergoing a major transformation by utilizing technology in all our processes and in how we work in government, with Covid-19, it is a bit difficult if not risky to have physical meetings as we used to have in the past and so we are using technology carry on government activities this we believe is the future and we want to encourage the judiciary to adopt the use of technology as much as it is possible in carrying out your activities”.
“We are committed to relocating the Court of Appeal from its current location in Ikpoba Hill and just as we support our local judiciary we will also extend hands of support to other federal judicial officers and institutions in our state.”