By; MKPUMA ENYINNA, Abakaliki
A Special valedictory Court Session has been held to mark the opening of the 2022/2023 Legal Year of the Ebonyi State Judiciary.
The Court Session was held at the Judiciary Complex in Abakaliki on Friday.
Addressing the Special Court Session, Governor David Nweze Umahi thanked the judiciary for delivering on its duties within the period under review.
“My Lord, let me commend you very highly and your brother Judges and Judiciary of Ebonyi State for the way and manner you have carried out your duties, thank you for living up to the tenets of the Judiciary.”
Governor Umahi pledged to continue to make the welfare of the Judiciary workers paramount within the remainder of his administration.
“Let me continue to pledge that the welfare of the Judiciary and their families will continue throughout my tenure as the Governor of Ebonyi State.
“Why I am reluctant to grant pardon is because when you pardon people, within three, four, five months, they commit worst sins and return back to the prison and another thing is the pain on the family.
“If someone has committed terrible crime and because he has people in government and he is seen walking freely on the streets, it will be an injustice.”
The Associate Counsel restated determination to prosecute all breach of hate speeches and fake news to serve as deterrent to others.
“A lot needs to be done in our Judiciary and that is very important, I have said that if Federal Government has decided to ignore hate speeches and fake news which is the cause of major crises in the country, myself and our government will not ignore it.
“Welfare of workers is very important to me, the Judiciary of Ebonyi State has done very well and her workers”.
In an address, the State Chief Judge, Justice Elvis Ngene thanked members of the Judiciary for exhibiting high sense of candour in the discharge of their duties in the past one year.
He reiterated the determination of the Judiciary to continue to partner other arms of government to promote good governance in line with International best practices.
“It is on record that Your Excellency since inception, has been consistent in honouring our invitation to the Legal Years, this gesture we are not taking for granted, You are most welcome Your Excellency, the most Judiciary friendly Governor in Nigeria.
“In a few months from now, the general elections will hold across the country, we expect nothing but free, fair and credible elections by all standards.”
The Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Cletus Ofoke, thanked the Judiciary for the wonderful working relationship of the Judiciary with other arms of government.
He lauded the governor for always meeting the Judiciary at the point of needs and identified the support as the tonic which has birthed progress in justice dispensation in the State.
“The robust synergy between the Judiciary and the Executive gave rise to the success story of this Judiciary today beginning with the vibrant, charismatic and visionary leaderships of the past Chief Judges-Hon. Justice A.N.Nwankwo,CON,(Rtd), Hon. Justice A. A. Nwaigwe (Rtd) and our present Chief Judge; a selfless servant, a silent achiever, erudite and a jurist per excellence, Hon. Justice Elvis Anagu Ngene.”
A Church Service to mark the event was held earlier at the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Abakaliki Urban Parish.
In a sermon at the Church Service, the Preacher, Most Reverend Dr. Torty Onoh admonished leaders to always hold on to God to be exceptional in their schedule of duty.
“When we will know who your father is when you have power at your disposal and you are still close to God.”
In his remarks, Governor Umahi congratulated the Judiciary on the event and appreciated them for standing firm in pursuit good governance over time.
“Let me congratulate the Chief Judge and all members of the Judiciary on the historic occasion of the 2023 Legal Year,
“Thank you very much for being good ambassadors of this State, all over the Country, the people are talking about the Ebonyi State Judiciary and I remain grateful to you.
“So I want to commend you very highly, despite the challenges you are still standing and I am going to stand with you to the end.
The theme of this year’s Legal Year is “Judiciary the bastion of Democracy.”