NBA-SLP Conference 2022: Okowa Advocates Judiciary Independence In Order To Uphold Rule Of Law

NBA-SLP Conference 2022: Okowa Advocates Judiciary Independence In Order To Uphold Rule Of Law

The Delta State Governor and Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that there cannot be effective rule of law in Nigeria without financial autonomy and independence of the judiciary.

Okowa stated this on Monday in his keynote address at the Nigerian Bar Association-Section on Legal Practice 2022 Annual Conference in Asaba.

He commended the NBA for holding the conference in Asaba, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing cities, and assured that his administration would continue to support financial autonomy for the judiciary in the state.

He said, “The courts and the legal profession must continue to adapt to cope with rapid changes like cross-jurisdictional legal issues and resolve disputes over business activities in the virtual world. They will have to address the impact of information technology on their work.

“Of equal importance is the need for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to continue championing the welfare and well-being of legal practitioners and members of the judiciary.

“The Delta State Government is working to provide a framework under which the judiciary and the legal profession can respond positively to these challenges, hence in 2021, I signed into law the Delta State Judiciary Fund Management (Financial Autonomy).

“While I agree that much work remains to (be done to) attain genuine financial autonomy, the law marks a critical first step for the independent control of the judiciary’s internal fiscal management and appropriations.

“My administration has and will continue to support the notion that judicial finance should be exercised free of interference by the executive branch of government in the same manner that the executive and legislative branches administer the funds appropriated for their internal operations.”

Earlier, the President of the NBA, Mr Olumide Akpata, had thanked the government and people of Delta State for hosting and sponsoring the conference.

He said the three sections of the NBA – the Section on Business Law, Section on Legal Practice and the Section on Public Interest and Development Law had continued to grow in leaps and bounds.

“The NBA-SLP occupies a very credible place in the association as members are engaged in dispute resolution practice as litigation practitioners and alternative dispute resolution practitioners.

“I commend the organisers for the choice of the conference theme and timing because of the critical role it will play in the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria,” Akpata stated.

He charged the judiciary to entrench the principles of accountability, probity and transparency in the management and allocation of the resources.

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