Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on the Judiciary to always dispense justice according to the law, pointing out that the judiciary must not allow itself to be intimidated by other arms of government.
Speaking during a Courtesy Visit by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa on Thursday, 6th February, 2020, at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that the Judiciary remains vital to the sustenance of democracy.
He said: “You are the ones to decide what is right or wrong. Never allow anyone to intimidate you. The moment you take the oath of office, dispense Justice according to the law.
“People are afraid to dispense justice because of intimidation. In some cases, they use the EFCC to intimidate judges. Whether or not you do your work, they will come after you. Without the Judiciary, there will be no democracy “.
Governor Wike said that the Executive and Legislative Arms of Government are far more corrupt than the Judiciary, but they are the arms that criticise the Judiciary all the time.
“The most corrupt arms of Government are the Executive and Legislative Arms. When they say that the Judiciary is corrupt, I laugh. The pressure on the Judiciary is from the Executive and Legislative Arms. The people who initiate the process are the ones who are corrupt “, he said.
Governor Wike regretted that the judges have allowed themselves to be boxed to a corner by the Executive and the Legislative Arms, each time they fail to rise up to the occasion.
He said: “The Judiciary must stand up to say that enough is enough. If you don’t stand up, then this democracy is in danger.”
The Governor said that as a result of calculated Intimidation , the Judiciary is afraid to relate with State Governments to get support that will enhance the Administration of Justice.
He noted that all security agencies, especially the military and the Police regularly demand and get regular financial and logistics support from State Governments, but people the Judiciary from doing same.
“The military and police and other security agencies come here regularly to collect financial support. If I tell you what the Rivers State Government spends on the security agencies, you will be shocked.
“State Governments must support the Administration of Justice “, he said.
Speaking further, the Rivers State Governor called on the President Court of Appeal to increase the number of judges in the Port Harcourt Division because it is second only to the Lagos Division in terms of volume of cases.
He congratulated the retiring President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa for attaining the retirement age. He commended her for the contributions she has made to the growth of the Court.
Earlier, the President Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa said that she was in Rivers State as part of the process for her to bow out of the Court, having reached the retirement age of 70 years.
She commended the Rivers State Governor for the upgrade and remodelling of befitting accomodation for Court of Appeal Justices of the Port Harcourt Division.