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Governor Otu Applauds House Of Reps Efforts In Advancing Welfare, Funding For Judiciary

Cross River State Governor, Sen. Bassey Otu has lauded the House Committee on Judiciary for their remarkable efforts and achievement in advancing welfare and funding for the Judiciary.

The event was conducted at his office, Dan Archibong Lodge on Wednesday, when members of the House of Reps Committee on Judiciary led by its Chairman, Rt. Hon. Oluwole Oke paid him a courtesy visit.

According to the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor, Linus Obogo, Otu emphasized the crucial role of the judiciary in society and the economic challenges they face while discharging their duties.

“It is true that the Judiciary remains the last bastion of hope for the common man. It’s unfortunate that challenges confronting our economy have been quite disturbing.

“It has affected almost every sector but why it is a bit sensitive for the judiciary is because it presides over every judgment, and is difficult for you and the person you are passing judgment on to cohabit in the same environment”

Otu commended the efforts of the committee in securing more funding for the Judiciary and advocating for the welfare of Judges and Judiciary staff. He acknowledged the State government’s commitment to the Judiciary.

“We are very happy with the job that you are doing in ensuring the increase from 150 billion to over 300 billion for the Judiciary in the 2024 budget.

“While we are doing our best here in the State, we are also faced with very heavy financial challenges, but we are ensuring Judicial personnel gets their place of respect in the society.”

Otu appealed to the Committee to present the challenges faced by the judiciary in the State to the Federal government for prompt action.

Speaking earlier, Hon. Oluwole Oke, Chairman House Committee on Judiciary in the House of Representatives said their visit to the State was for oversight functions, including inspecting federal judicial infrastructures and interacting with staff and personnel of courts.

“We are here on oversight functions to inspect the federal judicial bodies and infrastructures, to interact with the personnel, lords, Justices, Judges, and staff of the courts.

“We are also here to interface with my Lord, the State Chief Judge under your leadership, as the pension of the retired judicial officers has not been taken over by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Highlighting the challenges faced by judicial personnel, Hon  Oke emphasized the need for better emoluments and welfare for Judges and Justices.

“A lot of problems confront the judiciary; our lord Justices and Judges do not have a living wage. The last time their salary was increased was in 2007. Each Judge is entitled to a new car every four years, but some Judges have spent 9 years with dilapidated vehicles, and our Judges live in deplorable conditions.”

He further expressed the committee’s commitment to improving the funding and welfare of the Judiciary.