Kogi Council Of Judges Lauds CJ Score Card, Vows To Sustain Progress
Measures taken so far by the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Josiah Joe Majebi, to restore the integrity of the Judiciary of Kogi State has received the commendation of other Judges of the state.
The Judges who vowed to sustain the tempo of progress made under the leadership of the Chief Judge also maintained that the achievements recorded since his assumption of office would be continued promising that the Judiciary would witness more developments in the new legal year.
Justice Majebi had briefed the third session of the Council of Judges held at the judiciary headquarters yesterday on his accomplishments since assumption of office.
He said the state judiciary has made remarkable improvements under his watch touching on human capital and structural developments.
Itemizing the progress made, he recalled that the administration began with the conception and inauguration of the Council of Judges with its members designated with supervisory roles over Directorates for the purpose of engendering effective service delivery and accountability.
The CJ also added that the judiciary headquarters currently enjoys constant and steady 24hrs power supply while there is an ongoing process of installing solar energy at all Judges’ quarters as a move to enhance performance with provision of vital infrastructure.
Speaking on management of funds and transparency, he said upon assumption of office, the High Court of Justice was hugely indebted but all such outstanding loans, which amounted to about N37m owed private creditors, have been liquidated.
And in order to instill fiscal discipline, transparency and possibly forestall reoccurrence of debt accumulation, a Fund Allocation Committee comprising all vital segments of the institution, including representatives of JUSUN, the workers’ union, was set up to manage all funds accruing to the High Court of Justice.
On human capital development, the Council learnt that in addition to paying attention to Judges and staff welfare, prompt payment of allowances and claims have become the order of the day. Just as Magistrates and Area Courts’ Judges were repositioned in line with their seniority order and the payment of salaries and allowances attached thereto commenced immediately, he said all 67 staff who were omitted during the 2020 promotion exercise have since been promoted and payment of their corresponding salaries and allowances also commenced.
The CJ as well added that deductable Salary Advance which is usually paid to staff in need, but which was suspended before he assumed office, has been resuscitated and is being discharged every month.
To douse tension and agitation amongst staff, the CJ reported that the hydra-headed issue of implementing the new minimum wage of N30,000 to staff of the Judiciary was resolved during the period with immediate commencement of its implementation.
Additionally, all staff who were due for retirement were granted their arrears of promotions via a sustainable policy while approval was granted for conversion of appointments and those seeking normalisation pended for this year. This also goes along with the periodic promotion of committed and hardworking staff across cadres as a new policy.
Further more, the Council learnt that the Kogi State Judiciary Staff Credit, Thrift and Cooperative Society has been repositioned to serve staff better while maintenance of the fleet of staff buses for commuting staff to and from the headquarters has been prioritized given the headquarters’ location from Lokoja town.
Structurally, it was reported that the provision of office accommodation for some Magistrate’s Courts and staff of some other departments in the state capital has provided a conducive working environment for effectiveness just as new courts were established and some other existing ones upgraded across the state to expand courts’ jurisdictional coverage.
For institutional rebranding, necessary and relevant Directorates were created with Directors and Deputy Directors appointed to man them so as to respond appropriately to service requirements in the state.
Likewise, the residence of the Hon. Chief Judge of the state, which is seen as the symbol of the state Judiciary but was abandoned since the demise of the last occupant, late Hon. Justice Nasiru Ajanah, has been reclaimed from hoodlums, renovated and moved into by the CJ.
In a related development, the CJ recently took delivery of 10 SUV vehicles meant for Judges to be newly appointed. Their official residences have also been provided, according to the CJ.
On digitization process, with NJC’s Judiciary Information Technology Policy (JITPO) in mind, the institution’s library was equipped with e-library platform during the period while the Litigation Department and some Magistrate’s courts were equipped with computer and photocopying machines in order for the process to take its right footing through sectorial implemention of the JITPO.
In recognition of inputs to the system, retiring and deceased Judicial Officers, as well as other deserving legal practitioners, were deservedly honored with valedictory court sessions making the state Judiciary stand out as an appreciating institution.
The CJ who said these achievements were turning points in the lifetime of the state judiciary
acknowledged the input of other heads of courts, Judges, Attorney-General and members of the Judicial Service Commission as well as management and staff of the Judiciary whose positive contributions he said made the rebirth of the Judiciary possible.
Consequent upon the foregoing, Hon. Justice Abdul Nicodemus Awulu, the next in hierarchy to the CJ, who spoke on behalf of other Judges of the state, appreciated the Chief Judge and assured that the CJ would continue to enjoy the Council’s backing so that the Judiciary can be better placed to achieve more.