Anambra State Governor Calls For Partnership Among Executive And Judiciary
By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka
The Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has called for a partnership between the executive and the judiciary, to create a livable and prosperous State.
Professor Soludo made the call at the swearing in of Barrister Etomike Ndigwe and Tagbo Anieto as Judges of the Anambra state Judiciary.
He congratulated the newest member of Anambra’s core court of judges and expressed gratitude to God for their calling to public service as outstanding professionals.
“The three branches of government; the legislative, executive, and judiciary which are all fairly represented here today, will co-operate to work better.
“Security, law, and order are our top priorities and comprise our first agenda among our five pillars. Nothing happens if it is absent… Our second agenda, which focuses on infrastructure and economic transformation, cannot be carried out if our first agenda is not successfully carried out.
“Underscoring the importance of the team, everything depends on the rule of law if we want to create jobs, raise money to make things run smoothly, get rid of touts and criminals on the street, make the legal system function, etc.
“Enormous duty rests squarely on your shoulders. The Chief Judge always reminded me that we are second to Lagos in terms of productivity, so maybe that will change positively,” Professor Soludo explained.
He said; “Within the limitations imposed by the problems we must overcome, we will make every effort to ensure that the working conditions and surroundings are as comfortable as possible.”
The Governor stated that, “As government, the Executive branch we will go above and beyond to heed to what you demand for swift administration of justice. We will make some commitments, but the only constraint is revenue.”
As the state begins the IGR revolution, as it has in Lagos State, Professor Soludo asked for an aggressive judiciary to cope with it and work hard to collect money from the populace.
The Governor said; ”Unfortunately, Anambra is one of the states in the nation with the lowest revenue payments. The people paid a total of N20 billion in one year. Lagos expects to generate over N1 trillion annually. Even though we are not Lagos, if we can collect even just 5% of what Lagos does, we may earn up to N50 billion annually.
“I don’t hold anyone responsible for the oil boom, which caused people to forget to pay taxes used to build Lagos, Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Onitsha (Anambra State), and Aba in Abia State. As oil production declines, we must revert to the outdated methods of tax collection.
“We are determined to give the people value, flagging off and building roads, and for that reason. we cut all cutables and boycott all bycottables.”
The Governor pledged that, despite the difficulties, he would resolve the issue of judges’ entitlements in phases starting in March.
He said; “Our shared responsibility is to work together for a better Anambra…By the grace of God, Anambra will continue to win. We will keep juggling the balls.”
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Sylvia Ifemeje, presented the two nominees recommended by the Anambra Judicial Council for appointment into the Anambra Judiciary in pursuant to section 271 (2) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.
She said that they were the first set of judges sworn in Governor Soludo since he assumed office.
Professor Ifemeje reminded the nominees that the oath of office obligates them to support and defend the constitution of Nigeria and were expected to enforce the rule of law fearlessly.
The Chief Registrar Anambra State Judiciary, Chinyere Okoye presented the nominees to Governor Soludo, to invoke his constitutional rights to appoint and swear them in as High Court Judges.
The Chief Judge of Anambra state, Justice Onochie Anyachelu who initiated the appointment process said ”it is a special event towards the path to a quick dispensation of justice.”
The Speaker, Anambra House of Assembly, Dr. Uche Okafor, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Head of Service, Theodore Igwegbe, Deputy Speaker Anambra House of Assembly, Pascal Agbodike, Commissioner for Special Duties, Sly Ezeokenwa, Solicitor General Anambra State, Ngozi Ilunoh, Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, Commissioner for Environment, Felix Odimegwu, Special Adviser on Culture and Entertainment, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Judges and members of Anambra State Bar Association amongst others, attended the event.