Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the state judiciary would have financial autonomy so that it could work independently without being muscled by the executive.
Wike spoke on Monday in Port Harcourt while swearing in the state Acting Chief Judge, Justice Daisy Okocha, and the Acting President of the state’s Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Christy Gabriel-Nwankwo.
He assured the people that he would never starve the judiciary of funds as a tool for arm-twisting them, noting that the independence of that arm of government was necessary for the smooth running of government.
Wike however took a swipe at the Bench and lawyers in the state for the roles they played in the crisis in the state judiciary, stating that if they had collectively taken a stand, the state would have been saved the pains of the protracted closure of the judiciary.
He said the Bench was divided during the crisis when they were supposed to be united to fight the destruction of the judiciary.
Wike also expressed disappointment with what he described as the lackadaisical attitude of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for failing to defend the legal profession in the face of attacks from a desperate administration seeking self-preservation.
His words: “As a lawyer, I am highly disappointed by the action of the NBA. Something that you know is wrong, but everyone kept quiet.”