Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the judiciary in the state attains financial autonomy, aligning with the provisions of both the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Benue State Judiciary Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) Law, 2021.
Governor Alia made this declaration during the 2023–2024 Benue State Judiciary Legal Year celebration, held at the City-Bay Event Centre in Makurdi on Saturday, September 16, 2023.
He emphasized that providing financial autonomy to the judiciary is a crucial aspect of upholding the rule of law. This autonomy would empower judges to administer justice impartially, without any fear or bias, while safeguarding the fundamental human rights of the citizens.
Governor Alia reiterated his administration’s commitment to creating a conducive investment environment to attract investors to the state. He stressed that this objective can only be realized if the judiciary is there to protect investors from unwarranted legal challenges.
Furthermore, he acknowledged the judiciary as a valuable partner in his administration’s efforts to transform Benue State and assured that he would address the welfare concerns of judges, including those in lower courts.
In the statement by Tersoo Kula, his chief press secretary, Gov Alia said: “The situation where judges of the lower courts in Benue State travel by public transportation, including commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada, is an enormous risk and poses grave dangers to the lives of the judges and their work.”
The governor has instructed the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Fidelis Mnyim, to collaborate with the Chief Judge, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, to develop plans aimed at enhancing the well-being of the judges.
Extending his congratulations to the judiciary in the state, Governor Alia urged the judges to prioritize and work towards achieving swift and timely dispensation of justice in the new legal year.
During their respective speeches, the Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, and the Attorney General of the State and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim, underscored the significant role the judiciary plays in fortifying the electoral process in Nigeria. They further emphasized that the judiciary will continue to serve as a cornerstone of justice and uphold democracy in both Nigeria and Benue State.
The event was attended by prominent members of the state’s judiciary, legal professionals, and key government officials.