The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has commissioned the Judges Quarters built by the Rivers State Government.
The exercise was carried out in Port Harcourt on Thursday by a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili who represented the CJN.
Speaking during the commissioning of the quarters, Justice Odili thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for building the edifice and naming it after a late Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chinwe Aguma.
“To the glory of God, on behalf of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, I hereby commission this befitting residential estate for use by our honourable judges and justices of Rivers State judiciary and the Court of Appeal,” she said.
The gesture by the state government should be replicated in other states of the federation, Justice Odili said.
According to her, the nation’s judiciary deserves more than it is currently getting.
“The time to change the unpalatable narrative has come. The judiciary deserves more than it is currently getting.
“The good example emanating from Rivers State should be a role model to be adopted and replicated across the country,” she said.
On his part, Governor Wike said the commissioning of the judges’ apartment is in fulfillment of the promise made by his administration in 2015.
Wike explained that the move is necessary to improve on the living conditions of the judges who contribute to the dispensation of justice in the country.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike speaks during the commissioning of the Judges Quarters in Port Harcourt on September 3, 2020.
He, however, assured them that the Certificates of Occupancy was duly signed two days ago, stressing that Justice Muhammad would issue the certificates.
“Giving the constitutional restriction on legal practice, post-service life could be miserable for judges who were unable to buy or build their own homes before leaving the service,” Wike said.
“This challenge or circumstance has embedded the potential for encouraging corruption among judges with the attendance of negative circumstances on impartial justice delivery.
“With the new policy, however, the state now bears the full responsibility of providing all judicial officers of Rivers State origin beyond their service years for life.
“The policy is implemented in either of two ways – Judges have a choice to receive a purpose-built house in the state government or opt for cash payments to build or buy their houses for themselves.
“Furthermore, the policy applies to all judicial staff of Rivers State origin including those serving in any of the Federal Judicial Divisions that is the High Court or the Federal Capital Territory.”