Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed says the judiciary is not ignorant of the Nyesom Wike government’s tenacity in infrastructure delivery for federal judiciary and the state and priority placed on welfare of judges in the state as he stated that Wike is one of the few governors in the country who have provided for Judges owner occupier life time accommodation,a gesture which will form part of the history of the judiciary .
Justice Mohammed who was represented by Justice Mary Odili,a justice of the supreme court ,said that the example demonstrated by Wike was good enough to be a model that should be replicated across the country as he described the gesture as a bold step worthy of commendation which has changed the “unpalatable narrative” ‘of the judiciary adding that the judiciary deserved more than it is currently getting .
In his address Wike said that the Judges quaters whose foundation was laid by the former Chief Judge of the Federation, Justice Walter Onenghen on July 17, 2017 had already prepared certificate of occupancy for the Judges.
According to him, his government decided to embark on providing accommodation for Judges as a deliberate policy so that at the end of their service,they will surrender their official residences and move to their own homes for life.
Wike regretted the situation where Judges are evicted from their official quaters after their service years and said that the welfare of the judges when priotised would eliminate corruption in the judiciary.
The governor disclosed that the Judges quaters was built at the cost of N6BILLION, while the sum of N150million was given to each of the judges who had the option of building elsewhere bringing the total expenditure in that regard to N3 .6 billion naira
Wike warned that only judges had the right to live in those quaters as selling to persons other than the state government and allocating to relations would not be allowed.
Earlier the Chief Judge of the state ,Justice Iyayi Lamikara ,said that the Judges quaters was a fulfilment of the governor,’s formidable promise of providing residential accommodation for Judges of Rivers State to be retained upon retirement.
She described the feat as unparalleled in history and surprising that the “gigantic” and expensive project is done within few years of Wike’s administration..
According to her, the greatest challenge besetting a judicial officer in Nigeria is the unavailability of a comfortable and befitting residence after retirement adding that the project demonstrated a very strong commitment by Wike to infrastructural development of the judiciary and the welfare of judicial officers in Rivers State and those from the state who are working at the federal level.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dorgban-Messem and the NBA Chairman Olumide Akpata ,were in attendance and lauded the commitment of the government to the welfare of judges.