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By Emeka Ozumba

In furtherance of his promise to improve the ease with which Judges record judicial proceedings, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has announced the procurement of twenty-five stenographic machines for first batch of twenty five courts across the state judiciary to hasten speedy recording of course proceedings.

Governor Obiano who graced the event alongside his wife, Ebelechukwu stated this at the Eucharistic Service marking the commencement of the 2020- 2021 Anambra State Judicial Year held at Cathedral Church of St Faith, Awka.

The Governor expressed the desire to see the Anambra judiciary working steadfastly to reduce the congestion of cases and facilitate speedy trials thereby ensuring quick dispensation of justice and discharge of inmates awaiting trials.

The Governor further announced the establishment of Juvenile Correctional and Rehabilitation facility at Umunze, Anambra State to ensure effective management and rehabilitation of young offenders so as to avoid mixing them up with hardened criminals.

Obiano expressed delight in joining the Chief Judge of Anambra State and members of the Judiciary in the commencement of the Legal Year. He noted that the year has been a very difficult year given the scourge of Covid-19 and urged everyone to continue to observe necessary protocols to avoid contracting the disease. He acknowledged the impact of the well intentioned #EndSars protest and enunciated the work the state did in collaboration with community leaders and youths to stem the tide of unneccessary carnage.

He commended the cordial relationship between the Judiciary and Legislature, noting that his administration takes the welfare of the Judiciary inspite of the lean resources of the state as exemplified by the payment of salary, pension and gratuities. Not to mention other development strides like the Anambra State International Cargo Airport, Conference centre, Awka City Stadium and ongoing road projects, which he assured will be completed on schedule.

Earlier in his Homily, Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of The Niger and Bishop of Awka, His Grace, The Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim,
reviewed the Gospel of Luke 18:1-9 the parable of a Judge that does not fear God nor respect people, and the persistence of the widow who sought justice from him, noting that like the widow, the society is asking for justice. He therefore, advised the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature to work as a team to ensure fair dispensation of justice at all levels, stressing that justice cannot be obtained in an atmosphere of chaos.

He applauded the choice of the theme of the Legal Year, ” Administration of Justice in Contemporary Times: Appraisal and Challenges.” According to the Archbishop, we cannot lose hope or continue to live in fear because God is telling us not to lose hope. We have seen many deaths this year and a sickness we don’t where it came from is wrecking havoc. But I am bringing a message of hope.

Bishop Ibezim, averred that God is looking for Judges that fear him and urged the judges to be fair to both poor and mighty at all times. The recommended self determination through prayers, re-examination of the relevance of some political offices, and the need to pay the price of leadership to ensure sustainability of the system because “if we continue to take from the system without putting-in, the system will die.” He asserted.

In his Vote of thanks, Chief Judge of Anambra State, Hon Justice Onochie Anyachebelu thanked Governor Obiano, Archbishop Alexander Ibezim, distinguished justices, senior advocates and legal luminaries who graced the occasion.

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