FIC Report (Abia State) – Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has called for an all implementation of financial autonomy for the State Judiciary and Legislative arm.
To this end, he called on Stakeholders in the Legal profession to work towards ensuring that hiccups delaying full and concrete implementation of Judiciary financial autonomy are decisively tackled and eliminated for the good of the Country’s democratic process.
Dr. Ikpeazu who made the call during the 2022/2023 Legal Year opening ceremony/ valedictory High Court Session in honour of Retired Justice K. C. Nwankpa and unveiling of the Abia State Magistrate Court Rules 2022 held at the High Court Complex, Umuahia reiterates that with financial autonomy for the State Judiciary, real independence will be asserted in the affairs of this arm of Government.
The Governor represented by his Deputy, Sir. Ude Oko Chukwu expressed regret that despite all efforts by the National Assembly and Mr. President to ensure financial autonomy for State Judiciaries and Legislators, only few States including Abia have in principle enacted Judicial and Legislative autonomy laws for the implementation of financial autonomy for the institutions.
He described the Theme of the 2022/2023 Legal Year ” Judiciary: The Challenges Of The Non implementation Of Financial Autonomy” as very significant given the hiccups and obstacles that seem to impede the practicability of the constitutional provision and assured the Abia Judiciary of Govt’s commitment to continually partner and synergize with her in all efforts to ensure effective and quality Justice delivery in the State.
The State’s Chief Executive congratulated Retired Justice K. C. Nwankpa for being honoured by the Abia State Judiciary for his selfless services to the state as well as wished him well in his future endeavours and further commend the State Chief Judge and his Team for unveiling the new Abia State Magistrate Court Rules 2022 expressing optimism that it will bring more clarity to the operations in both the criminal and civil jurisdictions of the Magistrate Courts in the State.
In his address, the State Chief Judge, Justice Onuoha Kalu Ogwe appealed to the Governor to quickly sign the Judiciary Funds Management Bill already passed by the State House of Assembly into law, commend the cordial and engaging relationship existing between the Executive and Legislative and solicit for better Welfare packages for Staff of the Judiciary as well as Judges in the State.
Presenting his address, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Uche Ihediwa used the Forum to convey the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu’s appreciation of the Judiciaries resilience and doggedness in the dispensation of quick justice to Abians despite obvious challenges and commend the various innovations initiated by the judiciary in it’s Court proceedings.
The Session also featured speeches by the Chairmen of Aba Umuahia, Isiala Ngwa and Ukwa branches of the Nigeria Bar Association including the Leader of the Abia Bar.
Highlight of the Session was a parade mounted by the Nigerian Police, Abia State Command which attracted the presence of Members of the State Executive Council, the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Abia State, Justice Okey Nwamoh, Heads of Security Agencies, Members of the State Judiciary, Legal Luminaries from across the State and neighbouring States and other notable personalities.