Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has called for close collaboration between the Judiciary and the Police for effective dispensation of justice.
He made the call during a thanksgiving service to mark the commencement of 2016/2017 Legal Year of the Akwa Ibom State Judiciary held at Insight Bible Church, Nsikak Eduok Avenue – Uyo.
He described as unfortunate the situation where suspected criminals evade prosecution on grounds of insufficient evidence and urged prosecutors to evolve means that would make it difficult for criminals to escape the law.
The Governor congratulated the Judiciary for commencing the New legal year with a thanksgiving to God saying “the ceremony should not just be seen as an annual ritual but opportunity for the legal practitioners to take stock of their activities knowing that they would be held accountable for their stewardship by God who is the over all Judge “
He observed that Judiciary as an arm of government has proven itself as pilar of democracy and has shown transparency as well as clear demonstration of commitment in the protection of the rights of the common man.
Governor Emmanuel who acknowledged and commended the existing cordial relationship between the Judiciary and other arms of government said that the Judiciary has shown tremendous understanding with the Executive particularly in their demands given the economic crunch confronting the state.
He urged the law officers to uphold the principles of justice and fairness in the discharge of their responsibilities and called for speedy dispensation of justice as well as decongestion of Prisons in the state.
Earlier the State Chief Judge, Justice Stephen Okon, said God has been faithful to the Judiciary throughout the concluding year and that the institution is thriving on its constitutional responsibilities despite the uncomplimentary operational conditions and sued for public cooperation to enable the arm of government discharge it duties creditably.
Justice Okon said to achieve efficiency in service delivery the Judiciary has worked out modalities for an automated digital system to fast-tract its operations in line with the digital age and explained that the sitting up of Multi Door Court was to quicken the process of justice delivery.
He appealed to the public to embrace the services of the Multi Door Court to reduce the work load on the conventional Court and expressed appreciation to the Executive and other arms of government for the support given to the Judiciary saying that such gesture has helped the Judiciary to meet it obligations.
Preaching on the theme “The Fear of God” Pastor Sylvanus Ukafia of the Insight Bible Church advised the legal officers and the Judges not to allow sentiments to becloud their sense of reasoning in the dispensation of justice.
The Cleric who took his sermon from St. Lukes Gospel Chapter 18 verse 8, called on Judges to uphold the tenets of justice in the discharge of their duties and advised the legal practitioners not to allow the lure for pecuniary benefits of politics to influence their conduct stressing that the society holds them in high esteem.
Pastor Ukafia also called on the civil populace not to close their eyes and watch when things go wrong but to explore every constitutional measures to ensure that their right is protected to enhance stability and harmony in the society.
He said that Judges, Lawyers and the Law enforcement agents should see their vocation as a platform for service to God.
Highpoint of the thanksgiving service was a prayer session offered for the Country, State and the various arms of government.
Amidst praise and worship, contemporary Choir of the Church treated the congregation to inspiring tunes to the admiration of Governor Udom Emmanuel, his Deputy Mr Mosses Ekpo, State Chief Judge, Justice Stephen Okon, Speaker of the State House of Assembly Hon Onofiok Luke, representative of the Chief Judge of Cross River State Justice Ayade Ayade, Commissioners, Commissioner of Police Mr Muritala Mani, Wife of former Governor Her Excellency Obonganwan Nne Isong, Permanent Secretaries, Religious Leaders and Staff of the State Judiciary.