Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has pledged N10 million support to the on-going Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) building in the state, called “NBA Abakaliki Lawyers’ Bay”.
Umahi made the promise on Friday in Abakaliki, during a valedictory court session organised in honour of the retiring state Chief Judge, Justice Anselm Nwigwe.
The governor, who commended the contributions of the judiciary to nation building, pledged state government’s commitment toward improving the system and promoting lawyers’ well-being.
He, however, applauded the judge for his dedication to duty while in service and renamed the State Judicial Clinic as “Anselm Nwigwe Judicial Clinic”.
In a speech, Nwigwe thanked Umahi for his support and contribution of to the growth of the judiciary.
He, however, decried the governor’s reluctance to support judicial autonomy in the country.
“In an event such as this, a number of issues are bound to come to one’s mind but one issue that will resonate for a long time within the judiciary community in Nigeria is the imperative for judicial independence.
“It is obvious that the courts cannot perform their statutory roles without the requisite human and material resources.
“This is why the need to fully and unconditionally fund the judiciary has continued to engage the minds of the stakeholders at all levels of the nation’s judiciary,’’ he said.
Nwigwe said that it was only a well-funded judiciary that could afford that requisite bastion of hope for the common man.
“It is a fact that judiciary cannot and may never come into existence until the independence of the judiciary in Nigeria, both at the federal and state levels is fully guaranteed.
“Judicial independence is the precursor for the rule of law and much cherished separation of power in every democracy.
“So, I wish to appeal to all the state governors to kindly cooperate with the Federal Government in finding a lasting and enduring process within the law to instill full judicial independence into our slowly improving but dynamic democratic project,” Nwigwe said.
Also, Mr Ogbonnaya Okorie, the state NBA Chairman said that the contribution of the retiring judge to humanity and nation’s judicial system was enormous.
Okorie said that lawyers in the state would continue to work with the good foundation laid by their senior colleagues to ensure better judicial services.
“I thank the governor and commend the administration of the retiring judge, especially for the completion of the judiciary clinic complex, the Judiciary Service Commission complex and sustained peace and tranquility among staff,” he said. (NAN)