President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Justice Babatunde Adejumo, has said that the inauguration of the Benin Division of the NICN will provide respite for individuals and organisations in Edo state involved in the over 300 pending industrial disputes emanating from the state.
Justice Adejumo said this when he led other judges on a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, Benin City.
The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration constructed and handed over the temporary site of the Industrial Court to the NICN in a well-attended ceremony in Benin on Tuesday, in furtherance of the state government’s commitment to transform the state into an industrial hub.
Justice Adejumo, in his remarks during the visit, thanked Governor Obaseki for building the temporary site for the Industrial Court to commence operations in Edo State.
He added that with the new court, lawyers and their clients would not have to take cases to Akure, Awka or Enugu, as the cases can now be heard in Benin City.
He noted, “We have about 300 cases emanating from this axis. So at least justice will be done. Risk and, stress will be reduced and more revenue will be generated as we have about 100 workers here and over half are indigenes of the state.”
Governor Obaseki thanked the President of NICN for his presence in the state for the commissioning of the Industrial Court, noting,
“For us in Edo, our administration found out that the foundation on which our democracy, rest is the judicial system. Without a viable judiciary, we will not find full expression for our democracy.
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“We want the state to be a judicial hub. That was why we had to do everything to ensure we have the full complement of the judiciary in the state. We have the Court of Appeal, Federal High Court, State High Court, and it will be helpful to have an Industrial Court. We worked towards it and we have commissioned the Industrial Court in Edo State.”
Obaseki said his administration has secured a permanent site and interim design for the Court which is ready for approval, noting that construction will commence within the next 24 months.
“It is important for us to establish this Court in Edo State because it is part of our plans to make the state an industrial hub. We see ourselves attracting businesses into the state with our advantage of location, infrastructure and availability of energy. We have also created an enabling environment to woo investors to the state and in the next few years we see the state being industrialised,” the governor noted, stressing the need for a court to address industrial disputes and ensure harmony in the state.