Kogi CJ Commissions Courts Says They Represent Civilization, Attract Investments

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Availability of courts in communities serves as evidence of peace and civilization in addition to also making it easier for investors to locate businesses in those areas. The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Josiah Majebi, made this assertion when he commissioned two courts and upgraded another in two of the Local Government Areas of Kogi State.

Commissioned by the Chief Judge were two new Magistrate’s Courts and an Upper Area Court which was upgraded from an existing area court. While a new Chief Magistrate’s Court was commissioned at Obehira and the upgraded Upper Area Court at Okengwe, both in Okene LGA,
a Senior Magistrates’ Court 1 was commissioned at Adavi-Eba in Adavi Local Government Area which never had any court presence before the establishment of the court in the area.

Justice Majebi used the occasion of commissioning the courts to warn communities hosting courts across the state and litigants appearing in the courts against interference with court processes and hinted of the possibility of removing the new courts, and any other, from hostile environments. Community leaders were therefore tasked on the security of the courts and their personnel as the CJ said they were meant to bring justice closer to the doorsteps of the people.

He said location of courts in any community should not be misinterpreted as ploys to send people to jail but a positive development aimed at placing them at advantageous position to attract more development.

While optimistic that the courts would further attract more governmental presence, if the communities were protective of the ones newly commissioned, the CJ disclosed that the policy direction of the Kogi State Judiciary Council of Judges would be sustained as locating courts in communities where courts were hitherto nonexistence would be a continuous exercise until the council is satisfied that Kogi citizens and residents no longer toil over long distances to secure justice.

Among other benefits of locating courts in rural communities, he said, was to boost investment as potential investors would first enquire about the existence of legal means of addressing disputes in any community, which courts represent, before locating businesses in such a community.

In addition, having courts in rural communities also confirm that such communities were peace-loving and hospitable people who would rather seek redress in courts than apply jungle justice when grievances arise.

The CJ however warned against any act of intimidation, harassment, threat or attempts to influence judges posted to the courts promising that whenever that is reported a drastic action would be taken that may possibly include removal or relocation such court. He said the courts should therefore not be used as instruments of disaffection even as he assured that they would be manned by well-trained magistrates, judges and supportive staff.

As the new courts have wide jurisdictions over matters that could emanate from any part of the state and serve as symbols of state presence in the areas, the CJ added that the state would always discharge its responsibility of protecting her assets and personnel while charging the communities with the primary responsibility of securing the facilities.

Those who may be dissatisfied with the pronouncements of the courts were urged to explore the avenues of appealing their judgement at the High Court Appeal Sessions which he said are held quarterly to hear such matters emanating from the lower courts.

The communities appreciated the judiciary’s gesture and expressed enormous joy for the location and commissioning of the courts in their community through their respective Local Government Chairmen and community leaders. They assured the Chief Judge of adequate protection of the facilities and their personnel just as they also thanked and asked the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello for more governmental presence.

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