Funding Judiciary Under Oborevwori’s M.O.R.E Agenda

By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, Esq.

The Judiciary, is one of the three arms of government, after the Executive and Legislature. It’s crucial roles in nation building cannot be over stated, viewed against the background of the importance of equity, justice, rule of law and the various windows of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR.

It is common knowledge that the judiciary through the various levels of Courts of competent jurisdictions, is the hope of the common man. It connotes that every citizen, male or female, high or low, are equal before the law, in accordance with constitutional provisions, legal principles of equity and rule of law.

To this effect, every responsive and responsible government the world over, must ensure that the judiciary arm of government, is to a large extent, independent, but must of a necessity work closely with the other two arms of government; executive and lagislature, to bring about law and order, peace, security and good governance.

In Delta State, the immediate past administration of His Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, CON, raised the stake in the funding of judiciary, ensured that its financial independent status was and still sacrosanct through the legislative arm of government in the 8th Assembly.

Okowa administration also invested heavily in the area of infrastructure and welfare of Judges, Magistrates and other categories of judicial officers. The gigantic state of the art Courts complex is near completion, and when commissioned, Judges and judicial officers shall bask in the euphoria of a conducive work environment, improved self-worth in the discharge of their assigned responsibilities, especially unbiased dispensation of justice in the state.

On Sunday, October 8, the state governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who is also a Justice of the Peace, JP, attended the annual Thanksgiving Service to mark the begining of the 2023/2024 legal year, in the state judiciary. He was audible and firm in his absolute determination to do more for the third arm of government.

Not unaware of the massive investment of his predecessor, Senator Okowa, in the judiciary in the past eight years, governor Oborevwori, disclosed that his administration will improve upon the legacy of Okowa administration in the judiciary, with a proviso that, My Lord, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Theresa Diai, must of a necessity ensure timely dispensation of justice in all Courts.

The governor emphasized that “justice delayed, is justice denied,” and that under his watch as the head of government, the judiciary arm of government must be seen, and manifestly seen to the proactive, decisive, courageous and firm in sustaining the rule of law, and to dispense justice with minimum delays in accordance with constitutional provisions, extant laws, rules of Court and without fear or favour.

Funding, judging from the body language and firm promise of governor Oborevwori, will take centre stage, to ensure that the ordinary citizen, the poor and vulnerable citizens are able to access justice, in a world where oppressive tendencies pervades the very fabrics of society.

It is foreseeable that the governor, who in recent times, has been a victim of frivolous litigations and multifaceted legal battles, will keep his promise, while my Lord, the Chief Judge, is to ensure that as the funds flow periodically into the judiciary, the needful is done, fair and equal treatment to all concerned within the judiciary, while working closely with the State Ministry of Justice.

Governor Oborevwori, also charged the Bar and the Bench, as well as, law enforcement agencies to collaborate effectively to deliver justice and ensure law and order in the state, as we earnestly crave for our world to be a better place to live in.

In the light of the above, it is expected that our Courts shall, in the near future, be digitally activated, Central internet in our Courts, and fully ready to commence visual sessions, online filing of processes, expedite dispensation of justice, remain independent, but must collaborate, where necessary, with the other two arms of government for the holistic attainment of good governance in the state.

The promise to reasonably fund the judiciary by governor Oborevwori, is commendable. The Bar and the Bench must, therefore, continue to engage government with projects and reforms that would sustain and advance the rule of law and timely dispensation of justice in the state.
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Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, Esq, is a minister in the Temple of Justice, human right activist and an Officer of the Courts.

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Next articleBayelsa 2023: Lokpobiri, Lyon Dump Slyva, Adopt Diri *** How Diri Secures Jonathan’s Endorsement *** Diri Cajoles Jonathan’s Kinsmen With Succession Opportunity All seems not to be well with the All Progressives Congress Party (APC) in Bayelsa State as the party is divided ahead of the November 11th, 2023 governorship election in the state. As at the last count, about 10 political parties are battling for the number one position in the state. But political watchers are of the view that the fight for the soul of Bayelsa state is between Governor Douye Diri, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Minister of State for Petroleum and former Governor of the state, Chief Timpreye Sylva. Governor Diri is said to be taking advantage of the in house fighting in APC to warm his ways to the hearts of the people one more time and working round the clock to bring members of the divided APC in the state to join forces with him in order to secure his second term in office. The aggrieved members of the APC in the state may jump ship soon and endorse Governor Diri and dump Chief Sylva. Our checks revealed that Governor Diri has contacted big wigs in the APC, especially those the former Minister of state for Petroleum and ex- governor of the oil rich state, Chief Sylva may have stepped on their toes, including the Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and 2019 governorship candidate, David Lyon, into his camp. A reliable source revealed that Lokpobiri and Lyon are secretly working for the reelection of Governor Diri. The duo have axe to grind with Chief Sylvia and have stayed away from the campaigns and political activities of the former governor in the build up to the next month governor ship election in the State. Investigation revealed that all efforts to resolve the lingering crisis in the divided Bayelsa APC by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, and other top leaders of the party proved abortive. Our source disclosed that Governor Diri is taking advantage of the situation to further divide the opposition ranks by giving a lot of concessions ahead of the poll. The source claimed that the governor has promised to hand over to Lokpobiri as governor, with Lyon as deputy governor, if both of them duo can fully dump Sylva and join forces with him to win the November 11th governorship election in the state. According to our source; “Governor Diri has not only conceded 50 slots of Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) each to Lokpobiri and Lyon, he has also promised them some measures of influence on decision making”. “This unholy alliance between the governor and APC top chieftains implies that the two may have to defect to the PDP after Lokpobiri has served his term as minister in the Tinubu administration ahead of the battle to succeed Diri in 2026”, our source added. But our source alleged that Governor Diri is threatened by the cold attitude of his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, who has stayed away from his administration and likely not to give him the needed support. It is being speculated that the former governor and his camp nurse a feeling of alienation and marginalization and efforts by the PDP national leadership to broker truce has not seen the light of day. Senator Dickson was said to be not comfortable that Governor Diri was going about his reelection especially with the opposition elements without carrying him along. According to our source, apart from Lokpobiri, Lyon and other members of the APC family, Governor Diri has equally reached to other big wigs in his party, PDP. The governor, our source disclosed, has also promised Senator Benson Agadaga (Bayelsa East) the succession opportunity. Senator Agadaga is from Ogbia, the base of former President Goodluck Jonathan. “Diri is promising succession across party lines by making overtures to APC and PDP. He also promised the Director General of his campaign council, Hon. Mitema Obodor, who is a member of the House of Representatives ,representing Ogbia Constituency of succession. So, also is Robert Enogha, a former commissioner and two-time member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, who also hails from Ogbia”, the source said. “The three of them, Governor Diri has made succession promises to – Obodor; Agadaga and Enogha, are all of Goodluck Jonathan’s stock in Ogbia. This succession promise for Ogbia guys was a deceitful plot to secure Dr. Jonathan blessing and support in the forthcoming November poll. “Surprisingly, former President Goodluck Jonathan has also fallen for the bait. He is supporting the reelection of Governor Diri because of dummy the governor has sold to him that one of his kinsmen from Ogbia is going to succeed him after his second term in office.”

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