Gov. Okowa Inaugurates Justice Sector Reform Team

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has inaugurated a 15-man Justice Sector Reform Team, with a charge on them to build a sector that is proficient, unbiased, resourceful and transparent.

Governor Okowa who inaugurated the Team in Asaba, called on them to ensure effective access to justice, and to make the sector more proactive, responsive and accountable to society.

The inaugurated 15-man Delta State Justice Sector Reform Team made of serving Judges, members of the Bar and representatives of the Prison, Police, House of Assembly and Non-governmental Organisations is headed by Justice Godwin Briki-Okolosi.

“Developing a comprehensive justice sector reform has become imperative to build a sector that is professional, impartial, efficient and transparent, the justice sector must operate in a credible, coherent and consistent manner as to inspire confidence and trust in it”, he said.

“It is my expectation that the justice sector reform should focus serious attention on the justice system, criminal justice, access to justice and enforcement of court decisions within reasonable periods, and the integrity of the actors in the justice sector”, Senator Okowa said, emphasising that “the issue of arrest before investigation which is fraught with a lot of abuses and encourages impunity” should be addressed.

He commended The National Justice Reform Team for their effort to bring justice reforms in the country and embarking on this nationwide advocacy to invite relevant stakeholders to improve the institutional framework and process to ensure effective access to justice, and to make the sector more proactive, responsive and accountable to society.

Governor Okowa decried the current spectre of media trial and persecution and called for it to be addressed in the justice sector reforms as it diminishes our humanity.

Earlier, Barr. Peter Mrakpor, Attorney-General and Commissioner For Justice, said that the retreat would enable the state reform its justice sector and ensure that judicial service delivery would be effective and efficient.

In their separate goodwill messages, Taiwo Abidogun, Esq, Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice and Chairman, Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee, represented by Felix Ota-Okojie, Esq, Dr. Bob Arnot, National Programme Manager, Justice For All programme, Barr. Rume Izeze, Chairman, Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Rules, Business, Legal and Judicial Matters and Hon. Justice Marshal Umukoro, Chief Judge Delta State commended the state for embarking on the initiative and promised to support the state in the justice sector reforms.

Justice Briki-Okolosi who responded on behalf of members of his team expressed appreciation to Governor Okowa for the appointment and promised to ensure prompt delivery on their mandate.