The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has made the case for the decentralization of the nation’s security apparatus, ensuring better community participation to effectively tackle crime and criminality across the country.
Obaseki made the call while addressing journalists at the premises of the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal where a Special Valedictory Court Session was held in honor of retiring Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, Hon. Justice Rita Nosakhare Pemu.
Describing the judiciary as the last hope of the common man, Obaseki said, “For the judiciary in Nigeria, it’s the last hope for the citizens. You saw what happened on the 25th of February 2023. The calm and peace we experienced in the country following the election was that people know that there is an institution where people believe and hope that they will get justice. They are holding back, shielding their swords until the outcome of the judiciary process.
“Without the judiciary, the country would have been in crisis as you can't underestimate the role of our Courts and the Judiciary in any democracy. It’s the underpin upon which our democracy rests.”
On decentralizing the security system, the governor noted, “We in Edo State have dealt with security challenges by ensuring community participation and decentralization of our security system. We believe and advocate that, to have an effective security system in Nigeria, the security system must be decentralized as the Federal Government can't secure the entire Country alone.”
He added, “We also advocate for state security and local government security structures. It’s only with this full complement that we can cover the security space of the Country and make it safe for the Nigerian people. The issue of security is structural and should be addressed as such.”
Obaseki further thanked the government and people of Imo State for the support and encouragement given to Hon. Justice Rita Nosakhare Pemu while she served in the State.
On her part, the celebrant, Hon. Justice Rita Nosakhare Pemu said, “In any judicial system, I find out that the registry of the Court is the pivot around which every other department revolves. Once you sanitize the registry of a Court, half of the problem is solved. The proactive and unadulterated registry is a blessing to any Court. No healthy registry, no court.
In his speech, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Edo State Oluwole Iyamu, added, “My Lord was known to be equally civil, patient, tolerant and exhibited an immensely high degree of ethical comportment in dealing with counsels.”
Also, the Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Benin Division, Hon. Justice Orji-Abadua Theresa Ngolika, said the retiring Presiding Justice is “one of our brilliant Justices and has contributed greatly to the development of the judiciary system. Humility was her watchword as she discharged her responsibilities as a judicial officer. She is 70 years and retiring without a blemish.”
The highpoint of the event was the launch of a book titled, “Evidence of Grace: The remarkable life of Hon. Justice Rita Nosakhare Pemu,” by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.