- Mrs. Patience Zuofa-Diri and three other legal practitioners in Bayelsa have been sworn in as judges in the south-south state
- Patience appointment is an interesting choice as she is one of the wives of the sitting governor of the state, Senator Duoye Diri
- Governor Diri, however, stated that his wife and the three other judges are qualified for their new position
Yenagoa - Governor Douye Diri has sworn in his wife, Mrs. Patience Zuofa-Diri, and three other legal practitioners as judges of the Bayelsa High Court.
Daily Trust newspaper reports that aside Mrs. Diri, other new judges are former Registrar of the Bayelsa state High Court, James Lookie, a law lecturer at the Niger Delta University, Dr. Simon Amaduobogha, and legal practitioner, Mrs. Christine Enegesi.
Administering the oath of office on the new judges at the Executive Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa, Diri said his administration prioritises the judiciary in view of its significant role in society.
The governor congratulated the new judicial officers on their appointment and elevation, urging them to serve the people with unfailing honour and commitment.
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He commended the NJC, the state Judicial Service Commission, the state Chief Judge and the Chief Justice of Nigeria for facilitating the process and endorsement of their nomination from the state.
He said they were found suitable for the exalted office after meeting some strict protocol.
He also stated that all facilities and obligations required for the appointment of additional judges for the state’s high court have been provided and that the state looks forward to the appointment of more judges in the new year.
“These are strongholds of justice, protectors of liberty, the symbol of law and order, custodians of the rule of law, and embodiments of the hopes and dreams of our people. And if they can be treated with such impunity, then we are all much poorer for it.
“It is germane to restate that separation of powers should not in any way suggest division. In the end, we have a shared obligation to serve the people of Bayelsa State. We are one government united by one common purpose to deliver the hopes and dreams of the people of the state.”
Earlier, Governor Diri signed into law the state’s 2022 Appropriation Bill, which was passed by the Bayelsa state House of Assembly.
The Guardian newspaper reports that Diri assented to the bill in his office in Government House, Yenagoa in the presence of the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, and other top government functionaries.
64 new judges appointed across states in Nigeria
Recall that the National Judicial Council (NJC) recently recommended the appointment of not less than 64 judges in various states across Nigeria.
The recommendations are mainly for high court judges in Sokoto, Nasarawa, Ogun, Bayelsa, Cross River, Lagos, Rivers, Ekiti, appeal, and customary courts judges in some other states.
NJC’s spokesperson, Soji Oye, said the list of candidates was presented by the council's interview committee and at the end of deliberation.
NJC slams judges who gave conflicting verdicts on Secondus
Meanwhile, judges who presided over the case of Prince Uche Secondus, the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party have been punished by the NJC.
The judges, Justice Nusirat I. Umar of the High Court of Kebbi, and Justice Edem Ita Kooffreh of the High Court of Cross River, have been barred from promotion for the next two to five years.
This was announced on Thursday, December 16, by the NJC's director of information, by Oye during a meeting chaired by Justice Mary Odili.