Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson has signed the State Judiciary Autonomy Bill into law in conformity with the provisions of the constitution. Assenting to the bill at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Governor Dickson said the move was a demonstration of the importance his administration attaches to th

e financial autonomy of the Judiciary.According to the Governor, “having had the privilege of being a member of the Bar as well as Attorney-General of the state and now Governor, he is in a better position to provide the requirements of the Judiciary towards improving the delivery of justice in the state”. He however observed that the constitution does not stipulate the framework for the implementation and the execution of the autonomy of the Judiciary.

As part of government’s commitment to build institutions rather than personal powers, Governor Dickson noted that he decided to create a legal backing for the autonomy so that it would not be over-ruled by any administrative fiat in future. With the autonomy of the Judiciary in place, the State Chief Executive said the development signals a new dawn in the history of the Judiciary and expressed confidence in the 3rd Arm of government to manage its affairs, especially in financial matters in line with the rules of the public service. As he puts it, “with effect from the life of the next budget, I or any other Governor that will come after me will not have to treat approvals and requests from the Judiciary anymore”.

While calling on other Governors to support the move for a truly independent Judicial arm of government, Governor Dickson said the Judiciary was too important as it is the last hope of the common man. “Our democracy is not safe and it cannot be secured. Our civil rights cannot be protected unless we strengthen our Judiciary which alone has the constitutional authority to deepen our freedoms and protect our fundamental liberties” he declared. Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kombowei Benson said the bill was deliberated and passed within a week considering its significance.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Bayelsa State


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