Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State, has joined other Nigerians in condemning the midnight raids of homes of federal high court and supreme court justices saying the crackdown carried out by the Department of State service, DSS portends a threat to the nation’s democracy.
Governor Okowa made this declaration in Asaba on Sunday, October 9, 2016 during a thanksgiving mass to kick-off the 2016/2017 legal year of the state judiciary. The governor was represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, a legal practitioner.
The governor described the invasion of the judges’ homes as an act of intimidation against the judiciary, adding that the action was a threat to democracy and the rule of law. He further cautioned the nation’s security apparatus to operate within the confines of the law.
Okowa also noted that the judicial officers should also desist from acts that will defame the hallowed chambers of the profession, he however lauded the judiciary for its immense support to democracy and his administration, and pledged to continue to create the enabling environment for the judiciary to operate.
Bishop Michael Elue of the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku charged judicial officers to seek divine assistance from the holy spirit in the dispensation of justice. The clergyman sued for the independence of the three tiers of government, calling on the judiciary to remain the hope of the common man by living above aboard.
Present at the occasion was the chief judge of Delta State, Marshal Umukoro who reassured the public that the judiciary is committed to dispensation of justice to all manner of persons in the state without fear or favour.
“We shall observe the judicial oath and do justice to all manner of men and women without fear or favour. But to those who may be dissatisfied with our judgements, decisions or rulings, I dare say that name-calling, unsubstantiated allegations and hasty petition writing should be slowly adhered to,” Umukoro advised.
While thanking judges, lawyers and other judicial workers for their hard work during the past legal year, he lauded the executive arm of government for its continuous support of the judiciary, and thanked all Deltans for having faith in the judiciary.