Presidential Aide, Senator Ita Enang says plans have been concluded for the establishment of a Court of Appeal in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Enang made this known in a statement by his Media Assistant, Mr Essien Inyang on Monday in Abuja.
According to the statement, Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters(Senate), revealed this at a lecture in Uyo.
Enang in a lecture titled, ‘Strengthening the Judiciary for Effective Justice Delivery through Financial Autonomy 2018/ 2019 Legal Year”, said the judiciary in Nigeria must be strengthened to ensure effective dispensation of justice to all and sundry.
“Let me say by way of a loud rumour that by God’s Grace, this state will soon have Court of Appeal, Uyo Judicial Division approved, gazetted and commencing sittings.
We have answered all questions that gets this set on the table”, Enang said.
Enang who said he played a prominent role in the establishment of the Federal High Court and National Industrial Court in the state, expressed belief that the proposed Court of Appeal would “bring justice closer to the people of Akwa Ibom State.”
According to him, for the judiciary to function effectively, there is need for the full implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary, and referenced the presidential assent on the financial autonomy for the judiciary and legislature.
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“By assent granted by President Muhammadu Buhari, on June 7, 2018 to the Constitution, 4th Alteration No.4, 2018, Constitutional effect was again given to the Judiciary and Legislative Arms of Government financial status.
“The said amendment provides: 2. Section 121 of the principal Act is altered by substituting for subsection (3), a new subsection ‘(3:) Any amount standing to the credit of the – House of Assembly of the State; and Judiciary.
“In the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state shall be paid directly to the said bodies respectively; in the case of Judiciary, such amount shall be paid directly to the heads of the courts concerned.’’
“This Act may be cited as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration No. 4) Act 2017.
“Earlier’ Amendment and implementation include judiciary pronouncements related to the judiciary only, but the latest Buhari amendment encompasses the Legislative Houses.”
Enang, said “the continued dependence of the Judiciary on the Executive arms for its budgeting and funds release is directly responsible for the present state of underfunding of the Judiciary, poor and inadequate judicial infrastructure and low morale among judicial personnel.
He added that this has led to alleged corruption in the judiciary, delays-in administration of justice and judicial services delivery and general low quality and poor out-put by the judiciary.”
Enang frowned at instances where state governors opposed judicial and legislative autonomy.
He said, “I have laid out the above in detail to enable the audience appreciate how well the judiciary in this state as well as other states would have done as the Federal Judiciary has done if it were allowed financial autonomy by the state governors.”
He called for synergy between the judiciary and the legislative arms, adding that “the Presidency has been working and will soon unveil the modalities for implementation of the autonomy for judiciary and legislature as one sure step at restructuring.