Registries need to be sanitised, says Court of Appeal presiding justice
Rita Nosakhare-Pemu, the retiring presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, has admonished judges and other judicial officers to shun corruption.
Ms Nosakhare-Pemu stated this in Benin on Monday at a valedictory court session to mark her retirement after 29 years in service and attainment of 70 years.
She said the judiciary, considered the last hope of the common man, must be seen to be incorruptible and called for a reorganisation of court registries because they are parts of the problems in the courts.
“I leave behind in the Owerri Division a sanitised registry and a calm court. I am certain that the lawyers and staff in that division will attest to this fact. In the judicial system, I found that the registry of the court is the nucleus or pivot around which every other department revolves,” Ms Nosakhare-Pemu stated.
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The justice added that “once you sanitise the registry of a court, half of the problem is solved. A prime, proactive and unadulterated registry is a blessing to any court.”
She added, “Therefore, it is desirable and indeed imperative to sanitise on a continuous basis the registry of the courts, and counsels should desist from colluding with registries’ staff to cut corners.”
Ms Nosakhare-Pemu appealed for improved security for judicial workers, given the recent killings of court heads in some parts of the country.
“Just a couple of weeks ago, the chairman of a customary court in Imo was dragged out of the court and shot in the head in the course of performing his judicial functions. Again, about a fortnight after, a court in that same state was gutted by hoodlums,” Ms Nosakhare-Pemu stressed.
The judge was kidnapped in February 2022.
“I myself, on February 20, 2022, as I travelled down from Benin to Owerri, was kidnapped by hoodlums within the Ihiala axis in Anambra. It was only by the grace of God that I escaped with some of my staff. My personal driver and the two cars in our possession are still missing as I speak.”