President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon Justice Babatunde Adejumo, has lauded the commitment of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration towards ensuring that the judicial arm of government is given the necessary support to function effectively.
Justice Adejumo gave the commendation on Tuesday in Benin City, during the commissioning of the Benin Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, constructed by the Edo State Government.
According to him, the establishment and commissioning of the Industrial Court in Edo State will promote industrial harmony in the state as well as provide succour for lawyers who used to travel to Akure to attend to cases from Edo State.
Adejumo noted that the court will also encourage social development of the state through the promotion of peace and progress, and in the country at large.
“The facility is great and the building is good. This is the product of cooperation and I thank the governor for this,” he said.
The Industrial Court President explained that the Court was established in 1976 and his coming on board 16 years ago, led to its spread in Nigeria as Edo State is the 28th state where the court has been established.
In his response, Governor Obaseki said: “This is the first in the series where we will be handing over properties to the Judiciary as we have several of them undergoing construction in the state.”
The governor thanked the President of the National Industrial Court for honouring the state with his presence at the commissioning ceremony, assuring that his administration has already provided an accommodation for Hon. Justice Adeola Adewemimo, who will be the first resident Judge of the National Industrial Court in Benin City.
He said: “We are investing in our Judiciary as we have started the first in the series of accommodation for Judges in the state and we will not discriminate as we will ensure a comfortable accommodation for them. Our plan next year is to develop an estate for Judges in the GRA area of Edo State.
“This is just a temporary Court as the Court will be relocated to a permanent site within the next three years. We have secured the property and we have actually completed a design for the permanent structure.
“As a government, we want to ensure we have the full complement of the Judiciary in the state and we are doing everything to provide what is required to make the Judiciary function effectively and efficiently in Edo State.
“We are going to be emphasising and strengthening our Magistracy, investing in our High Court and are pleased that we have successfully been able to attract the Industrial Court to Edo State as we work to relocate the Court of Appeal to a more auspicious premises and hope if possible to have a Supreme Court in Edo State.”
Obaseki noted that the aspiration of his administration is to be the industrial hub of Nigeria as the state is working hard to ensure that before the end of the year the state government will commence the construction of 1,000 hectares of Industrial Park in the state, adding that it will be the bastion for attracting companies and organisations to the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said the construction of the Court in Edo State has provided one instance of the positive attitude of Governor Obaseki towards all matters pertaining to the administration of justice and to the rule of law in the state.
The Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, who expressed delight at the achievement, said it is a great development for the state.
She thanked the Governor for the achievement and expressed confidence that the Court will contribute to industrial harmony in the state.
The Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Edo State branch, Prince (Barr.) Collins Benson Ogiegbaen, expressed the gratitude of the Bar of Edo and Delta states to the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki for realising the dreams of most lawyers in both states who were exposed to kidnapping and hardship on the Akure Road, as it was one of the most dangerous roads in Nigeria. “The entire Bar in Edo and Delta State are grateful to the exemplary leadership style of Governor of Edo State,” he said.