The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on judges in the country to always do justice so that Nigerians won’t lose confidence in the judiciary.
He said the courts must not only work to bring an end to the era of delayed justice but must also ensure that justice is never denied to the people.
The governor made the remarks at the public presentation of a book titled, “Legal Paradigm in Nigeria: A New Direction in the Study of Law and Practice,” unveiled in honour of retired Supreme Justice Abdul Aboki on Friday in Abuja.
A statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, quoted Wike to have stressed that a strong judicial system was needed for democracy’s survival.
He said, “The judiciary dies where it lies comatose and removed from the aspirations of the citizens for good governance, the rule of law, the protection of fundamental rights and the guarantee of free and fair elections.
“The judiciary dies when it can easily be manipulated; when justice can be procured; when injustice is rendered in place of justice to the aggrieved parties; or when resort to self-help and other means of redress outside the law become the preferred norm by citizens.
“Justice could be delayed, which is not acceptable, but it must never be refused or denied for the judiciary to serve as an effective watchdog of our democracy and thwart the evil intentions of the enemies of the people.
“Let us, therefore, continue to call on the Federal Government to strengthen our judiciary system by resolving the challenges militating against judicial effectiveness as I have done in Rivers State,” Wike said.
He commended Justice Aboki for “his illustrious career, immeasurable service and contributions to the growth of the legal profession, democracy, the rule of law and the progress of the country.”
“While judges are of different social, economic and political persuasions, Honourable Justice Aboki prides himself among the progressive rank that stands up for what is right and just and believes that the law and the constitution, as interpreted and enforced by the courts, must both protect and advance the unity and well-being of the nation and its people,” Wike added.
Also present was the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, who commended Aboki for his meritorious service to the nation and lauded Wike for his tenacity and ability to speak truth to power.