ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Mrs Patience Zuofa-Diri, the second wife of Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, was among the four judges of the state High Court sworn in on Thursday.
Zuofa-Diri and the other three judges took their oath of office inside the Executive Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa, based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The other judges were a former Registrar of the state High Court, James Lookie, a Law lecturer at the Niger Delta University, NDU, Dr. Simon Amaduobogha, and a legal practitioner, Mrs. Christine Enegesi.
Diri congratulated the new judges on their appointment and elevation, urging them to serve the people with unfailing honour and commitment.
He commended the NJC, the state Judicial Service Commission, the state Chief Judge and the Chief Justice of Nigeria for facilitating the process and endorsement of their nomination from the state.
He said they were found suitable for the exalted office after meeting some strict protocol.
The governor noted that his administration prioritised the judiciary in view of its significant role in society, stressing that it would not compromise the neutrality and independence of the judiciary as it is the last hope of the common man.
He also stated that all facilities and obligations required for the appointment of additional judges for the state’s high court had been provided and that the state looked forward to appointing more judges in the new year.
Diri, who recalled the embarrassing invasion of the Abuja residence of Supreme Court’s Justice Mary Odili, called on the relevant authorities to expedite action in order to bring those culpable to justice.
He said: “Those responsible in that opprobrium must appropriately and expeditiously be punished for their transgression.
“These are strongholds of justice, protectors of liberty, symbol of law and order, custodians of the rule of law and embodiments of the hopes and dreams of our people. And if they can be treated with such impunity, then we are all much poorer for it.
“It is germane to restate that separation of powers should not in any way suggest division. In the end, we have a shared obligation to serve the people of Bayelsa State. We are one government united by one common purpose to deliver the hopes and dreams of the people of the state.”