The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has given 41 Range Rover Discovery Sports Utility Vehicles to judges serving in Rivers State High Court and Customary Courts.
Governor Wike who said he gave judges car gifts, as part of his fight against corruption also stated that other beneficiaries are judges of Rivers State origin serving the nation in the Federal Judicial Service.
He urged the judges to rededicate themselves to their duties and shun acts of corruption. “There should be no more excuses for corruption and indolence in job performance among our judges with the level of incentives and entitlements we are providing.
“The point cannot be overemphasized that the most important consideration of their calling is to ensure that justice gets to everyone that comes before you within the rule of law,” Wike said.
The Governor also decried instances, where judges recuse themselves from matters brought before them and return the case files to the heads of the court.
According to Wike, the decisions of such judges are not far from intimidation and pressure from litigants who try to induce them.
Wike said that his government gave judges and magistrates vehicles two years ago with the promise that they would be replaced from time to time as a matter of deliberate policy.
According to him, the SUVs were the fulfillment of the promise he made to the judges to enhance effective delivery of Justice in the state.
He said as a lawyer and Governor of the state, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and unhindered justice delivery were paramount to his administration.
The governor said the SUVs have a warranty of five years and that the judges could send them to Coscharis Motors if they noticed any fault within the period.
Wike announced that his government had also completed and taken possession of a furnished 20 unit residential quarters for judges, which the government started in 2018 in fulfillment of its policy for providing decent and lifelong accommodation for all states’ Judges.
He said that the Chief Judge of the Federation is expected to commission the estate soon and present certificates of occupancy (C of O) to the benefiting judges who will occupy the houses for life.
He said the gesture was the manifestation of the government’s abiding commitment to the independence and integrity of the State judicial arm of government.
He said while the state government provides qualitative services for the judiciary, no judicial person had the right to dictate to the government in making choices relating to accommodation and justice dispensation as he hoped that the government’s largesse would spur the judiciary to efficiency and eliminate corruption and indolence in the system.
Earlier, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Iyaye Lamikara had thanked the governor for providing infrastructure and technology development for the judiciary, saying “We are very proud to be the first judiciary in the country to have an e-library, and one of the pioneer judiciaries to commence e-filing e-assignment of cases and virtual hearing of cases.”
A representative of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. O Okocha from Rivers State had jokingly asked for palliatives for senior Lawyers as he commended Governor Wike for always attending to the Judiciary.