The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, says the FCT administration will create an enabling environment for the judiciary to ensure proper delivery of justice in the territory.
Wike said this at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Official High Court Judges Conference 2023. The event is themed “Strengthening Judicial Commitments to the Rule of Law and Democracy”, in Abuja.
The minister said the theme of the event was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda to ensure that the judiciary works in an environment that supports the delivery of justice without any fear or favour.
He said President Tinubu had ordered the creation of a new division of the Court of Appeal for the FCT, which would be completed in the next 15 months, as well as the construction of housing for High Court and Magistrate Court judges in the FCT.
He explained that he received a directive from the president to increase the welfare package of judicial officers in the capital city.
“At FCTA we are committed to fostering an environment that supports the judiciary to deliver justice without fear or favor. We recognize the importance of having an adequate and well-equipped staff, as well as the need for continuing education to ensure that our judges are abreast of the latest developments in jurisprudence.
“I am pleased to report that efforts are being made to improve the infrastructure of our judicial facilities, including the welfare of judicial officers. The President has ordered that with immediate effect we construct a new division of the Court of Appeal in Abuja and it must be completed within 15 months.
“And the President also ordered that we build houses for the FCT judges and magistrates in Abuja and also ordered that the judges of the Federal High Court Abuja and Court of Appeal Abuja division be given new houses,” he stated.
He commended the National Judicial Institute (NJI) for its commitment to providing a platform for judges from across the country to converge, exchange ideas and engage in substantive debates on pressing legal issues.
“While (the conference) remains one of the most anticipated events for judges in Nigeria, it also provides them with a platform to stay abreast of evolving legal issues, share best practices and collectively strategize on ways to improve the administration of justice in Nigeria. ”She added.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman, NJI Board of Governors, Olukayode Ariwoola, said the conference remains one of the most strategic conferences and serves the dual purpose of taking stock and vision.
The CJN also urged judges to always strive for excellence in the performance of their duties, stating that “justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.”
President Tinubu, who was represented at the event by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, noted that the Nigerian judiciary had evolved and called on judicial officers to act honestly at all times.