Rivers at 50: Be courageous, Wike charges judges
From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has charged judges to be courageous in the discharge of their duties, even as he declared that his administration would continue to promote the independence of the judiciary for the sustained growth of the state.
Addressing members of the bench and bar during the State Golden Jubilee Special Court Session yesterday, Governor Wike tasked them to be courageous as they dispense justice. The governor said that the Nigerian Judiciary has reached a stage where only courageous judges could uphold the rule of law.
He said: “Nigeria has come to a point where if you don’t have courage, justice will not be done. The judiciary must continue to uphold the tenets of the law.”
He regretted that the judiciary has come under intense blackmail under the present administration.
“Why is it that only when a matter comes that the Federal Government has interest that monies are found in the account of judges?” he asked.
While affirming the need to fight corruption, he condemned the approach, saying that it was politically motivated and selective.
He suggested the promotion of the welfare of judicial officers to make corruption unattractive for them.
The governor explained that his administration has embarked on the construction of Judges’ Quarters,adding that his administration would always work with the State judiciary to develop Rivers.
Speaking, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Lamikanra, commended the governor for the financial autonomy of the judiciary and the independence it enjoys.
Justice Iyaye-Lamikanra said that the special court session was held to commemorate the 50 years of the existence of the judiciary in the state and also celebrate her contributions.
Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Emmanuel Aguma , a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the Wike administration has played critical roles in repositioning the judiciary after years of turbulence. The event attracted lawyers from the eight branches of the NBA.
… Vows to reclaim Ikoyi funds
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that his administration will recover the ‘state funds’ found at an Ikoyi residence despite the antics of the Federal Government.
Speaking during a special appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Programme, Governor Wike reiterated that the money stashed at the Ikoyi residence belongs to the people of Rivers State.
He said the state team of lawyers are already working to ensure that Rivers State gets back her funds which are proceeds from the sale of the assets of the state.
Recall that Governor Wike had at a press conference explained that the Ikoyi funds were proceeds from the sale of the assets of the state government by the immediate past Rotimi Amaechi-led administration.
“We will follow due process of the law to get back Rivers State money found at the Ikoyi residence. This money belongs to the Rivers State people. We have conducted our checks.
“We will stun Nigerians with this matter. We will come out with our evidence at the appropriate time”.
The governor said that the state government would not reveal its strategy to recover the funds because of the games being played by the APC-led Federal Government.
He said that the politicization of the entire issue of the fund discovered at the Ikoyi residence, indicate that the Federal Government has something to hide.
On developments in the Niger Delta, Governor Wike stated that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is working at cross purposes with the region.
He said that the NDDC politicises the process of its execution of projects which are usually abandoned. He added that the agency deliberately refuses to liaise with the states before projects are initiated.
On the PDP crisis, Governor Wike stated that he is supporting Makarfi and that he will wait for the Supreme Court to state its position. The governor declared that it is very much unlikely that he will work with Ali Modu Sheriff.
He said: “It is very much unlikely that I will work with Ali Modu Sheriff. It is not possible for me to stay with Sheriff .”
The governor explained that Sheriff has no love for the PDP as he has continued to work against the party, in liaison with the APC. The governor alleged that in Benue and Jigawa States APC Government to frustrate the PDP in upcoming Local Government elections.
On developments in Rivers State, the governor noted that his administration has entrenched statewide execution of projects. He said projects have been initiated and executed in 22 out of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state. Governor Wike said that only local government area, Omuma, yet to have a project, now has a major road contract awarded in the area.
He said that his administration is developing Rivers State as a tourism destination of the country. He said the construction of the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park is a deliberate action to promote tourism.
The governor regretted that Rivers State and other Niger Delta states are losing revenue because oil companies pay their taxes in Lagos, while they operate in the region.
On Rivers at 50, he said that the state has made tremendous progress. He said that the state appreciates God for being together despite the challenges