Grant financial autonomy to judiciary, out-going Chief Judge tells govs

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The outgoing Chief Judge of Benue state, Justice Iorhemen Hwamde, has appealed to state governors in the country to grant the state judiciary autonomy to enable them have financial independence.

Justice Hwande made the call at a valedictory session to mark his retirement from active service yesterday in Makurdi.

He allayed fears of the state governors that the judiciary is an arm of government that will not go out to destroy a government they are part of.
He said as Chief Judge of Benue, he had served three governors and enjoyed working with all of them, but said the only problem he encountered with all of them was that the Judiciary was not adequately funded.

“It does appear to my mind that executive governors of several states in the federation are wary of granting financial autonomy to the Judiciary.
“They harbour a feeling that if the Judiciary becomes financially independent, it will become uncontrollable, but I think that is a wrong notion because the federal government has granted this financial autonomy to the federal Judiciary but we see no abuse of judicial powers at that level”, he added.

In his address, Governor Samuel Ortom, said he had no problem granting the state judiciary financial autonomy, saying it will also help to reduce some responsibilities while they still rely on financial sources from the executives.
He said as chief judge of the state, Justice Hwande had created a conducive environment for the Bench and the Bar to work harmoniously to serve the cause of justice.

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