Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, yesterday inaugurated the state’s Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring at the State Judiciary Multi-Door Court Complex, in Yenagoa.
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Diri tasked all critical stakeholders in the chain of the criminal justice system to play their statutory roles to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice in the state.
The Governor, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, emphasised that there was a compelling and urgent need to do what he called ‘critical self-examination’ to get it right with the administration of the criminal justice system.
According to the Bayelsa Chief Executive, equity holds the key to a peaceful and virtually crime-free society, where no one is denied their rightful benefits and entitlements as law-abiding citizens.
He said the lack of equity in the Nigerian society had over the years provided the breeding ground for the emergence of criminals and criminality in every part of the country.
“Let us talk more about equity because I believe most of the crimes being committed in our society is as a result of lack of equity. A man who is into oil bunkering feels that his country is producing the crude oil from his backyard and he is not getting a fair reward from it.
“And so, he feels that the only way for him to get the national cake is to go for illegal refining. We arrest and criminalize them. But the question is, if there is equity, will still go and break the pipelines?
“I’m not trying to be a lawyer or solicitor on their behalf. But I also think there is the need for equity. More often than not what we have done in our society is to put justice first instead of equity.
‘Equity is the bedrock of every system. Justice is a remedy for injury. But when we talk about equity, it means you are giving to me what what is rightly due me”, he said.
He noted that the country had not fully attained its goals in the dispensation of justice because the justice system had been compromised, adding that the Police, the Correctional centres and the Judiciary should effectively play their constitutional roles to achieve seamless delivery of justice.
The Governor, who made a case for mobile courts in the rural areas to handle criminal cases, suggested that magistrates should make unscheduled visits to police stations in the various local government areas to examine files of detainees, some of whom are being illegally detained.
In her remarks, the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Justice Kate Abiri, explained that the need for the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law justified the inauguration of the committee in the state.
Justice Kate Abiri assured that the state’s judiciary as critical institution in the administration of criminal justice sector would continue to play its role to complement the work of the State Implementation Committee.
She noted that when the Committee was operational, it would speed up criminal trials in the courts by cutting out most of the delays currently being experienced.
The Chairman of tbe Bayelsa State Administration of Criminal Justice Interim Monitoring Committee is the Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Kate Abiri, while Senior Magistrate Mariam Pere and Mr. Charlie Ebinyon are to serve as Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
While the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Biriyai Dambo (SAN), the state Commissioner of Police, CP Ben Okolo and the state Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Services, Mr. Seth Edoughotu are members.
Other members include the Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Yenagoa Branch, Mr. Ukunbiriowei. Saiyou; the State Coordinator of the Legal Aid Council, Mr. Eddy Inemo Yabo; representative of civil society, Mr. Jim Dorgu and the state Coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Eugene Baidom.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Rotary Club Donates Security Post To Benin Custodial Centre
Rotary Club, Benin Metropolitan Chapter, has donated a security post to the Benin Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Edo State Command.
This is contained in a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSC Aminu Suleman, which was made available to The Tide’s source, weekend, in Benin.
Suleman said the donation was in furtherance of the long existing partnership to support the Custodial Centre in the attainment of the mandate of securing inmates in custody.
The PRO noted that the project was initiated by the Officer In Charge of the Centre, DCC Sikiru Balogun.
According to the statement, the outgoing President of the Club, Rotarian Joseph Ogbemi, “Benin Custodial Centre has long been registered as our pet projects Centre.
“The club will continue to support the Custodial Centre, in spite of several signature projects already donated to it”.
While inaugurating the project, the Controller of Corrections, Ogwude Charles, expressed appreciation to the Club for its humanitarian activities and regular support to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
The Controller, represented by the Officer In Charge of the Custodial Centre, DCC Balogun, assured that the project would be put to good use.
He called on the public to partner with the Service for the good of the society.
Present at the event were the President-elect of the Club’s Chapter, Rotarian Cash Nehizena, and the Vice President, Rotarian Edugie Mabel.
Edo Begins Bush Clearing In Public Places
Edo State Government has embarked on massive clearing of bushes in public places across Benin, the capital city of the State.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Jonathan Lawani, told The Tide’s source yesterday that the exercise was aimed at achieving a clean and healthy environment.
According to him, government wishes to take a lead in ensuring bushes in both public and private places in the state are cleared as the rains get intensified.
“As they say, leadership is by example. What we are doing today is to pass a message that cleanliness is next to Godliness, and for this rainy season, we must ensure we clear our environment.
“We know rain comes with grasses growing everywhere with its effect of flood, erosion and bushes in our surroundings.
“We take the initiative to show to the people of Edo that we can do it by maintaining cleaning and healthy environment by clearing the grasses in our environment to ensure Edo State becomes a clean state for all.
“This is a continuous exercise all through the season of rain. For private places, our health and safety officers are going round to serve abatement notice to those who are not clearing the front of their premises.
“We are clearing public places that are government facilities and the roads across the city. I believe you went to Uselu road all through, to University of Benin and the surroundings in the GRA,” he said.
Lawani, an engineer, noted the ministry had directed a similar exercise in all local government areas in the state through the appropriate ministry and organs of government.
“As part of the initiative, we are going to be championing the cleanest city or cleanest local government in Edo state.
“We want to start it during this rainy season, so it becomes a culture and part of our activities on a yearly basis,” the commissioner said.
He also urged the public to ensure proper waste disposal, planting of grasses, flowers and trees during the season to mitigate the effect of climate change in the state.
Varsity Seeks Endowment Fund For Research
The University of Africa, Toru-Orua, (UAT) has said it is seeking the establishment of an endowment fund for research purposes.
The Tide’s source reports that the institution said on Friday that its focus would be on solving developmental challenges and the advancement of the society.
The university made this known at the 2nd Annual Public Lecture of the Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences in a lecture titled, “Utilising Untapped Research Funding Opportunities: An Imperative for Innovative Research in the University System”, which was intended to enlighten stakeholders on the need for financial support for the institution.
The Dean, Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences, Prof. Francis Sikoki, in his address of welcome, said the university’s catchment was bedevilled by many challenges, which could be addressed through research.
He listed such challenges to include flood and erosion, the menace of waterborne diseases, resource depletion occasioned by pollution and environmental degradation.
“Unfortunately, despite the large pool of experts in various disciplines in the university system, the paucity of funds to carry out problem-solving researches has been a major constraint.
“Fortunately, there is a large number of research funding sources which are not being adequately explored.
“One of such areas is the establishment of an endowment fund dedicated to research funding. This is precisely the reason for this public lecture being held today, first to create awareness and secondly to mobilise resources for research”, Sikoki said.
The guest lecturer, who s the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr Godknows Igali, stressed the need for universities to seek alternative funding.
He said public sector funding of the country’s university system was on the decline.
He suggested that apart from endowments, research funding could also be sourced from alumni bodies, partnership with industry, accessing development funding, university linkages, through putting-on the entrepreneurial cap and adoption of blending approach to funding research, among other sundry sources.
Igali, while advising the university’s management to be innovative, said: “The question ahead of us is where does the University of Africa want to belong?
“My submission would be we should be on the right side of history, of being a national problem solver and a much sought after institution around the world.
“It is our disposition towards today that would determine where the University of Africa will be in terms of its relevance in the global education market. But then as the saying goes, it is impossible to make an omelette without breaking eggs, “ he said.
Igali said this would require innovation and creativity from the university’s management.
“For this, as stated earlier, the university must be able to recruit and have the right calibre of staff who can handle this highly specialised duties of raising funds from multiple sources.
“This is because it would be difficult for a researcher to be the one who has the responsibility of carrying out investigation and studies and at the same time be saddled with the hunt for resources,” he said.
In his remarks, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, called on federal agencies such as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to support the State in the funding of research projects by its tertiary institutions.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, also implored the state-owned tertiary institutions to redouble their efforts to tap research funds lying idle at the NCDMB and other public-spirited corporate bodies.
He emphasised the importance of research in tertiary education and the overall development of society, noting that what makes an educational institution to stand out is the quality of its research works.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UAT, Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene, said the public lecture was a clarion call on all stakeholders, especially government, to invest more resources in research and development to meet the manpower needs of the university system and society at large.
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