…Catholic faithful flay kidnappers’ interest-in fathers, sisters
Stakeholders in the administration of justice Thursday sought for financial independence for the judiciary, stating that the amount of credit standing to the arm should be paid directly to the Heads of court from the Consolidated Revenue Fund in line with Section 121 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
This was the issue canvassed by the panel of discussants at the opening ceremony of the Law week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Oleh branch in Delta State with the Theme: “Judicial Autonomy As Basis for Effective Justice Administration and Social Order,’ held at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The State Chief Judge, Justice Marchal Umukoro who chaired the occasion, posited that while it is the constitutional responsibility of the executive to lay the budget before the National Assembly or the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) as the case may be, there should be safeguards to ensure that the financial needs of the Judiciary were reflected in the budget and that the approved finances were released to the third arm of government.
Justice Umukoro explained that the greatest challenge confronting the judiciary was not financial autonomy, but the quality of judicial officers, stressing that the quality of law degree was no guarantee of a good judge.
He maintained that for persons to qualify to be appointed to the Bench, he or she must have the fear of God, honest, stable marital background and be abreast with trendy events of legal scene and society.
He commended the leadership of the National Judicial Council (NJC) for ensuring stringent measures to selecting suitable materials for the Bench, even as he charged legal practitioners, especially the human rights section of the NBA to offer free legal representation to indigent members of the society.
The Keynote Speaker, Chief Albert Akpomudje SAN, who focused on procedure, conducting court business and reporting, advocated for radical innovation in the Nigerian Legal System, in line with what is tenable in the United Kingdom, stating that it was high time we dispensed with the wig and gown in civil proceedings, considering the hot weather, court size and inadequate ventilation in court rooms.
Chief Akpomudje who is also a life Bencher in his keynote address entitled: ‘Improvement of the system of Administration of Justice, its procedures and Arrangement of Court Business and Regular Law Reporting;
highlighted the importance of amending some aspects of the Civil procedure Rules such as pre-trial conference, time prescribed by the rules for doing as act, issue of raising and time from commencement to conclusion of cases.
Meanwhile the Bomadi Diocese of the Catholic Church has planned to launch series of evangelism crusades in the length and breadth of the diocese to win more souls from the over three million population in the diocese.
Bomadi Diocese traverses three states, namely Rivers (Abuja/Odual Local Government Area), the whole of Bayelsa State and Patani, Bomadi and Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, with Bomadi as headquarters.
Disclosing the plan at the grand ceremony held at Bomadi, in commemoration of the church’s upliftment by Pope Francis in Rome, Italy, from vicariate to diocese, the Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev. Hyacinth Egbebo, MSP, said that job for Christ had just begun as there is a lot more to do to win souls, considering the large number of the population outside the church in the diocese.
He noted that no one would come to the faith without hearing the word of God, and that without a preacher being sent by God the word would not be delivered to the people.
The cleric said, “The Catholic Church comes from Christ. Christ founded the Catholic Church and the church has laid hands on me and given me authority to spread the word of God.
Therefore, this is the only way I know and this faith has to go everywhere because Jesus said, go to the ends of the world and proclaim the good news.
“So, if we have only one per cent Catholic here, out of three million people, it means we have not worked hard enough. That was what I was referring to when I said we are just beginning.
We have to go the extra mile to win souls for Christ as my scope is very big. The Catholic Church has no presence in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, one of the largest local government areas in the federation.’
However, calling on kidnappers who indulge in abducting Rev. Sisters and fathers, Egbebo said “I want to use this medium to the kidnappers to know that we have no money.
Any money we have is for projects or people (charity), and when that money gets finished, we go to beg from people again”.
Nosa Akenzua , Asaba.