ABUJA, Nigeria – The FCT Minister, Barr. Nyesom Wike, has initiated moves to foster an environment that supports the judiciary for the proper dispensation of justice.
Wike during the opening ceremony of the 2023 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference of the Superior Courts of Record, held at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja, explained that the move was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda towards ensuring that the judiciary work in an environment that supports delivery of justice without any fear or favour.
To that effect, Barrister Wike said the President Tinubu has directed the setting up of a new Court of Appeal division for the FCT, which would be completed in the next 15 months, as well as the construction of houses for High and Magistrate court judges in the FCT.
He said: “In the FCTA we are committed to fostering an environment that supports the judiciary in dispensing justice without fear and favour. We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and adequate staff force as well as the need for continuous education to ensure that our judges are abreast of the latest development in jurisprudence.
“I am pleased to report that efforts are underway to enhance the infrastructure of our court facilities, including welfare of judicial officers. The President has directed that we should with immediate effect construct a new Court of Appeal division of Abuja and that must be completed in 15 months.
“And the President also directed that we should construct houses for the FCT judges and magistrates in Abuja and also directed that judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja and the Court of Appeal in Abuja division must be given new quarters”, he added.
He commended the National Judicial Institute (NJI) for its commitment in providing a platform for judges across the country to converge, exchange ideas and engage in substantive discussions on pressing legal issues.
Barr Wike added that, “While it (the conference) remains one of the most anticipated events for judges in Nigeria, it also provides a platform for them to stay abreast of evolving legal issues, share best practices and collectively strategize on ways to enhance the administration of justice in Nigeria”.
In his keynote address, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, Board of Governors of the NJI, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola stressed that the conference remains one of the most strategic and serves the dual purpose of stock-taking and visioning.
The CJN also urged judges to always strive for excellence in the discharge of their duties, saying that, “Justice should not only be done but must be seen to be done”.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was represented at the event by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, while commending the NJI for the event said that the Nigeria Judiciary has evolved and called on judicial officers to always live above board at all times.
The conference which has the theme: “Strengthening Judicial Commitments to the Rule of Law and Democracy”, had judges from the superior courts, other judicial officers, lawmakers, Ministers, heads of security agencies and members of the diplomatic community in attendance.