Delta CJ Expresses High Hopes For New Legal Year

THE Chief Judge of Delta State, Hon. Justice Marshal
Umukoro has expressed high hopes for the new
legal year, premised on the promise of Governor
Ifeanyi Okowa, to further reposition the judiciary through
improved revenue as accruable to the state in the next
financial year.
According to Justice Umukoro, who made this known
yesterday in his address on the occasion of the special
court session to mark the opening of the 2017/2018 legal
year in Asaba, the previous legal year was a turbulent one
for the nation’s judiciary at large, noting that in spite of
such challenges, the Delta State judiciary went through
with its head high.
Justice Umukoro lamented the barrage of attacks,
criticisms and abuse meted on the judiciary, some of which
he acknowledged as genuine and others he described as
sheer witch hunting and propaganda, adding that the
judiciary is a unique arm of government saddled with
distinct statutory functions and responsibilities, even as
he urged the legal practitioners to uphold the virtue of
integrity at all times.
Reeling out the strides recorded in the last legal year,
Umukoro said that a total of 53 judgments was upheld on
appeals by the Delta State High Court, and a total of 142
officers benefitted from the various categories of training,
adding that as part of proactive measures taken to tackle
the delay in the administration of criminal justice in the
High Court, criminal jurisdiction was vested in designated
courts spanning the three senatorial districts of the state
He said that for some time, the Protocol Department has
been reporting the outcome of selected criminal cases in
the media for the information of the general public, adding
that the initiative has so far received an overwhelming
applause from the public, even as he said that a total of
5,410 awaiting trial cases were reviewed, 183 awaiting
trial persons released from unlawful detention 110
persons granted bail and five others referred to the
psychiatric hospital for further medical evaluations.
While giving a breakdown of the revenue profile, Justice
Umukoro said that N219, 246, 681bn was generated by
the High Court during the period under review, stressing
that lawyers should not allow themselves to be used by
litigants to bring the judicial system into disrepute, even
as he said that inadequate funds to deal with the many
problems bedeviling the judiciary remains its major
challenge.
Earlier, in his homily at the Special Thanksgiving Mass
heralding the legal year at Emmanuel the Savior Catholic
Church, the Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku Diocese, Most
Rev. Dr. Michael Elue, admonished legal practitioners to
be conscious of their role in the sustenance of democracy
through guaranteeing fundamental human rights and
charged them to always remember that they are only
delegated authorities of God who he said is the ultimate
Judge.
While applauding the judiciary for its breakthroughs,
in spite of its many challenges, the cleric further charged
the judges to be updated in learning and not descend to
mediocrity and lamented the culture of impunity, which
is gradually effacing honour and integrity as a result of
the gradual depletion of social sanctions.

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