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Okowa swears in three judges, demands speedy dispensation of justice

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Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has sworn in Dele Okafor, Grace Abanre and Jessica Gberevbie as Customary Court of Appeal judges in the state, with a charge to the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice at all times, especially now that the bill granting autonomy to the judiciary in the state had been passed.

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, at the weekend, thanked the Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro and President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Stella Oghene, for their efforts at ensuring that justice was speedily dispensed in the state, while urging the new judges to bring their experiences to bear in the discharge of their duties, as their appointments were based on their personal integrity and years of experience.

Okowa, who stated that with the appointment of the new judges, the Customary Court of Appeal in the state could now function more efficiently, as their number hitherto was few and sometimes difficult to constitute a quorum, reiterated his administration’s commitment to partnering the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

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He added that the judicial arm of government would soon begin to operate in autonomous status, saying: “We have continued as a state to ensure that we partner the judiciary to ensure that there is speedy dispensation of justice. So, I must appreciate those who kept the process going until the swearing-in of the new judges of the Customary Court of Appeal.

“There is no doubt that Deltans and Nigerians have continued to yearn for speedy dispensation of justice and I want to appeal to our newly sworn-in judges that they must ensure commitment to the dispensation of justice, equity and fairness in all that they do.”

I know that it is a difficult job you have been called up to do, but you have been appointed based on your personal integrity and years of experience and I expect that, that will be brought to play in ensuring the speed dispensation of justice.

“I want to assure the judiciary that we will continue to support it as much as possible to ensure the functionality of the judicial system in the state. It is important that we put on record that as a state, we have passed and signed into law the bill granting autonomy to the judiciary in the state and it is our hope that the processes leading to the efficient take-off of the judicial autonomy will be put in place.”

Responding on behalf of new judges, Justice Okafor thanked God and those who made it possible for them to emerge as judges, and assured that they would carry out their duties without fear or favour.

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