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Implementation Of Judicial Autonomy Must Comply With Constitutional Provision -Wike …Says ‘No Work, No Pay’ Order Now In Force In Rivers

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has accused the Federal Government of playing politics with judicial autonomy in total disregard to constitutional provisions.
The governor made the observation at the inauguration and handover of the National Industrial Court Judges’ Quarters in Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wike explained that under a federal system of government, it is only the Executive arm of government, at all the tiers, that has the powers to present the annual budget to either state, LG Legislative or National Assembly and also sign it into law.
According to him, the new narrative that a presidential implementation committee has been set up and will direct governors to sign budgetary allocations for the Judiciary is purely unconstitutional.
Wike said a Federal Government that was promoting autonomy of the Judiciary should not have allowed the nation’s courts to be shut for about two months by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
“Is it true that the Federal Government wants the autonomy of the judiciary? If the Federal Government wants the autonomy of the Judiciary, how can a government say that the courts should be shut down for almost two months now? Which country can survive when its courts are shut down for two months?”
Speaking further, the governor said his administration has fully implemented the autonomy of the Judiciary and the Legislature with releases of their financial entitlements as captured in the budget up till 2021.
Wike explained that the funds released by Rivers State Government to the Judiciary far exceeds the planned deductions by the Federal Government.
He further declared that his administration is not owing parliamentary workers who are also currently on sympathy strike.
He proclaimed that already the no-work no-pay policy has come into force in Rivers State and all Judiciary and parliamentary workers cannot sit at work and expect salary anymore.
Speaking on one of his motivations to provide judges with official residences, Wike recalled how, when he was Chief of Staff, he received a call at about midnight that a judge was locked out of his rented apartment by a landlord.
“From that day, I had this feeling that judges should not be so exposed to this kind of things that could lead to lose of their life. We have also acquired land to build for judges of the Federal High Court who are in rented apartment. And I know that the landlord has told me that they have not paid him for several years.
“That comes to tell you the kind of autonomy of the Judiciary that the Federal Government says they believe in. We agree but the rent of their judges is there, they have not brought the money to pay.”
Inaugurating the facility, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, noted that Wike has remained a strong voice in the clamour for judicial independence and financial autonomy.
Represented by Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad, said Wike’s affection and innate passion for the welfare and wellbeing of the Nigerian Judiciary was worthy of emulation.
“The Wike model should be holistically espoused and replicated by other governors in the country for rapid development and growth of the Nigerian Judiciary.
“I would love to see this mind-blowing gesture, which I refer to as the emblem of humanitarianism, replicated all over the nooks and crannies of the country with a view to lifting the Nigerian Judiciary out of the current squalor which is, largely, inhibiting the seamless and speedy dispensation of justice.
“With this astounding feat, you have, for the umpteenth time, profoundly hoisted the banner of a true statesman.”
The CJN declared that without any ambivalence, that Wike remains a shining example in the comity of contemporary Nigerian political leaders who have the interest and welfare of the Nigerian Judiciary at heart, both in words and in action.
“You are not doing this because you are a lawyer, as we have several lawyers occupying influential political offices in the country, but simply because you are a habitual care giver and development-conscious political leader.”
The President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Benedict B. Kanyip, said Wike has made history in Nigeria by being the first to build a court and residential apartment for judges of the Industrial Court.
Similarly, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, stated that Wike, by providing conducive accommodation for judges, has further expanded the frontiers of the access to justice.
On his part, Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), said Wike was spurred to provide accommodation for the judges of the Industrial Court because of his quest to provide access to justice to people and residents of Rivers State.
The newly inaugurated Industrial Court Judges’ Quarters comprise of four duplexes with five bed rooms each, a club house and swimming pool.

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Our Legacy’ll Leave Lasting Impression On Rivers People -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that his administration will collaborate and continue to consult widely in delivering a liberated State experiencing enduring peace.
Fubara said, in doing so, he would not operate as a dictator but as a member of a team that has the best interest of the State at heart and determined to leave a lasting legacy that can be celebrated.
The governor spoke during the formal presentation of Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office to the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Ateke Michael Tom, as first class tradition ruler, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Fubara stated that, during the Sixth State Executive Council meeting, N80.8billion was approved with 50 percent contract value paid already as the Government awarded the construction of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road.
He said the project will be funded from the savings from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to underscore his administration’s prudence without also borrowing to complete the project.
“We are at a crossroad in our State where we all need to stand for what is right. It happens once in a life time. So, for now, be one of those people that will be in the course to liberate and free our dear State.
“And I know strongly that having the support of a peace-loving Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, having the support of the wonderful Council of Chiefs, having the support of the great people of Rivers State, we will bring peace in our State. We will do those things that are right to develop our State.
“We will continue to consult. We will not act as dictators. We will act as people who know that one day, we will leave, and when we leave, the way we have acted will speak for us. We will not force people to talk good about us. Our legacy will be a signature for how we led”, the governor said.
Fubara explained that he acted within the ambit of the law to upgrade the traditional stool upon which King Ateke Tom sits in recognition of his efforts in promoting peace in Okrika, and indeed, the State, and urged him to continue to do justice to everyone.
In his speech, Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon Charles Amadi, congratulated King Ateke Tom for being formally presented with the Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office as first class traditional ruler.
Also speaking, former Transport Minister, Chief Abiye Sekibo, thanked the governor for fulfilling his promise of upgrading the traditional stool of Okochiri Kingdom, and pledged the support of Kirike Se people to his administration.

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We’re Determined To Leave Legacy Of Quality Education -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has promised to give the best attention to the education sector so that standard and quality learning will never be compromised in the State.
The governor emphasised that in achieving such legacy, schools in the State will be driven with a curriculum that will equip school-aged children to become competitive, innovative and self-reliant.
Governor Fubara made the assertion while inaugurating the Governing Council of Rivers State University at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said: “There is a lot of noise everywhere: people asking what we are doing; that we are not focused, and that we don’t have direction.
”But I want to tell the world that we are focused and aware that we cannot grow if our energies are not channeled to education. Not just education, but purposeful education.
”Education that is creative. Education that gives you independence. We have left the era in the world when you speak too much grammar. We are in such times when it is what you can do with your hands.
”Our purpose for education is that we should bring back our academic programmes to where, at the end of your studies, you don’t need a job but you create jobs. When one creates a job, you automatically employ others. That is what I want this council to see as their task.”
Governor Fubara noted the non-existence of public secondary schools for the male child in the Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
He said such negligence leaves children in that area who have completed primary education, and whose parents cannot afford sending them to far away secondary schools, to roam the streets, and therefore becoming willing tools for criminality.
Governor Fubara assured that such fundamental problem will be addressed by his administration as a measure to curb the negative impression associated with Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
The governor said he trusts in the capacity of the members of the Governing Council of Rivers State University to bring about positive change in the institution while also contributing their quota to improving the general education standard in the State.
”I charge you, not just in terms of administering the affairs of the university, but let us add something different from the normal things that we already have to see new things.”
In her response, on behalf of the other members, the Pro-Chancellor of the Governing Council of Rivers State University, Justice Mary Odili (rtd), thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve in such capacity.
Justice Odili assured they will work assiduously as a team to solve the problems that agitate the mind of the governor and ensure their contributions form part of the legacy that will be bequeathed by his administration.
The members included Justice Mary Odili (rtd) as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council with Barrister Mela Oforibika and Chukwuma Chinwo, Esq.
Others were Adata Bio-Briggs, Esq., Dr. Jonathan Nimi Hart, Ngo Martins-Yellowe, Dr. Nancy Nwankwo, Dr. Igoni William-Park, and Mr. Ogbugbu Barisua.

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Fubara, Others Eulogise Rivers First Lady’s Mother

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, his Deputy, Prof Ngozi Odu, and key stakeholders of the State on Wednesday paid glowing tributes at the Service of Songs held in honour of late Mrs Adeline Jaja, mother of the wife of the Governor, Lady Valerie Fubara, at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the event, Governor Fubara described his late mother-in-law as a great and visionary woman who lived on truth and conviction in what she believes.
“Mama was a great woman. She wasn’t a materialistic person. When she believes in you, she’ll be all out for you. She stood for me. I feel pained that, like my own mother, she left at this moment.
”Mama believed so much in God, and the wonders of God. I thank everyone, particularly the Church. On behalf of the bereaved family, we will support the Church to immortalise her name,” the Governor said.
In his homily, Vicar of the Church, Ven. A. A. Ijon-Ama, who spoke on the gains of death, said physical departure from earth was not an ultimate end but an opening for higher and permanent gain and perfection.
He pointed out that when a man has a good relationship with God, he stands to gain more in death.
Ven. Ijon-Ama described late Mrs. Adeline Jaja as a devout Christian, who exuded deep sense of hospitality, and endowed with accommodating spirit, noting that she will be greatly missed by all.
The Vicar, who prayed for the repose of the soul of Mrs Adeline Jaja, also solicited for Divine fortitude for the family to bear the great loss, and called for the immortalisation of the deceased to keep her good legacies alive.
Some family members, who spoke at the Service of Songs, extolled the virtues of the deceased, describing her as “a great community leader, counsellor, peace maker, and caring mother, who provided for the needy, and participated actively in Church activities.
Highlights of the event were special prayers for the bereaved family, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Evo Diocese, Rt. Rev. Innocent Ordu; remarks by key family members, choir ministration, among others.

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