Kogi CJ Commissions Magistrate’s Court in Imane Community, Says Court Presence Is Symbol Of Civilisation

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The presence of court in any community is an evidence of civilisation and an indication of adherence to rule of law by such community.

The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Josiah Majebi, made this assertion when he commissioned a Senior Magistrate’s Court at Imane in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State on Thursday.

In his words, “A society that has faith in administration of justice and also prepare to make a conducive environment for its achievement is a civilized society.”

He inaugurated the court following the community’s concerted effort to have the court located in the area. He therefore commended the people’s efforts and thanked those who worked tirelessly for the establishment of the court noting that the community has demonstrated its level of civility.

“I want to thank all of you that made donations and sacrifices for the attainment of this judicial height in this community. The Imane people, having taken the trouble, and having made sacrifices to ensure you have this court today, is a testimony to the fact that you are civilized”.

He added too that the presence of the court would encourage investment by guaranteeing investors’ security.

He said as an avenue for quick resolution of disputes, availability of court aids foreign investments as it encourages would-be investors to communities.

“Having courts close to you is an evidence of civilisation. It will eventually lead to the development of the area by attracting investors who will believe that when criminal activities are perpetrated against them, the police will arrest and the criminals will be taken to court for prosecution. That confidence will be built that their investment would be protected and their presence in the community secured. So I want to say that as your community is attractive and advancing, with the establishment of this court, I assure you that whatever progress you may have made before now,
you will progress more.”

Cautioning, he added quickly that the court was there to sanction law breakers saying
courts are meant to regulate the conduct of individuals.

“The court commissioning today is to take care of your legal needs here as far as criminal matters are to be found here. We don’t establish courts to encourage criminals. We establish courts to sanction and regulate the conduct of individuals. So I want you to look at it that we are not calling for customers to that court from this society. When a court is established, it is also a warning to you not to commit crime because there’s sanction awaiting you if you do. So at the end of the day, and as my mentor, Hon. Justice Umaru Eri would say, let us establish courts because you build hospitals not because people are sick, but you build them so that when people are sick, you will have hospitals to take them to.

“Therefore, the court is here to sanction conducts that breach the law and at the same time, serve as signpost for you to know that there is punishment for every breach of the law.”

While stating that the presence of courts also reduces criminalities, he concluded by lending support to one of the sons of the community and a Judge of the High Court of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Abdul Awulu, who had earlier admonished the youths of the community against actions capable of breaching the law.

“We should also talk to our youths that the court is here to take care of those who misbehave. Though I am believing that we are not going to be sending people from here to prison arbitrarily, but just as my lord has advised just now, please warn yourselves.”

Earlier, the traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness, Ibrahim Calistus Salifu, the Odaojiji Imane, who hosted the Chief Judge and his entourage in his palace, recalled how the judiciary was instrumental to his enthronement through a Supreme Court judgement.

He also said it was the first time, in the history of the community and the state, to receive a dignitary of such calibre as CJ’s and appreciated the judiciary for the honor given to his community. He said he had always held the judiciary in high esteem, especially after the Supreme Court affirmed his nomination before coronation as the 18th Onaojiji of Imane Kingdom. This position, he said the establishment of the Senior Magistrate’s Court in his community has further reaffirmed.

In reaction to this, the CJ said those who castigate the judiciary are those who are not patient enough to see judiciary processes through but for those who have had the patience with the thoroughness of the processes, the judiciary still remains the last hope of the common man. He was then grateful to know that respectable persons occupying respectable positions like the traditional ruler still appreciates the Nigerian judiciary.

The CJ further eulogized and commended the community for producing his lordship, Hon. Justice Abdul Awulu, whom he said has been immensely contributive to the state’s High Court bench and particularly for his efforts towards the realization of the community’s dream of having the court established.

On his part, Justice Awulu was appreciative of the judiciary even as he strongly cautioned the community, and the youths in particular, against acts capable of sending them to jail.

In his speech, the National President of the Imane Development Union (IDU), Chief Donatus Okpe, said the commissioning of the court offered “an auspicious occasion (being) the first of its kind after Imane became a district under British Colonial government in 1922.” He was optimistic that the court would be used to check criminalities as he was grateful, on behalf of the community, for the honor bestowed on them with the presence of the court.

Finally, and in line with the tradition of the Judiciary to give communities the opportunity of providing guards for courts, the Chief Judge magnanimously acceded to the community’s demand by offering immediate employment to one of their youths, Sunday Adugba Uloko, who was reported to have been helpful in securing materials used during the course of remodelling work of the new court.

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