The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has assured of more support for the state judiciary, especially in the areas of magistracy and welfare of judges.
He gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the outgoing Chief Judge of the State, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital. Justice Ikponmwen will retire from the state public service on November 22, 2019.
Obaseki said his administration would work with the incoming Chief Judge in deepening investment in the state magistracy, which is the first point of contact with the ordinary man.
He said, “In the education sector, we are focusing on basic education; in the health sector, we are focusing on primary healthcare while in the judiciary, we want to focus on the magistracy, but we will not neglect other sectors of the judiciary.”
The governor said the welfare of judges remains a priority for the state government noting, “What we have started in terms of the welfare of judges would be further sustained by the incoming Chief Judge.
“I will not want my judges to live in areas that are not properly secured. We want to build more residents for our judges in the Government Reserved Area (GRA).”
He expressed appreciation to the retiring Chief Judge for the support and maintaining a cordial working relationship with the executive arm of government.
He said his administration recorded fundamental milestones working with the Chief Judge in revamping the state’s High Court and strengthening the independence of the judiciary.
Obaseki added that true independence was beyond physical independence, noting that the judiciary needed to be independent in all ramification.
Earlier, the outgoing Chief Judge of the state said she visited the governor to inform him of her exit from the state public service.
She commended the governor for the support she has enjoyed as Chief Judge, noting, “I want to thank you for all the support throughout my tenure since I assumed office as Chief Judge in January 2017. I have enjoyed my public service life in Edo State, starting from the old Bendel State when I took up an appointment in 1980 as a state counsel.”
Justice Ikponmwen said the developmental strides of the Obaseki-led administration in the state judiciary since her assumption of office has been unprecedented, adding, “You have worked hard to construct the roads within the court complex and I want you to extend the same hand of fellowship to my successor when the time comes.”