From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The eleven newly appointed Magistrates in Rivers State have been sworn in by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Laminkara, after clearance by the National Judicial Commission (NJC).
The magistrates we’re sworn in on Friday at the State High Court premises in Port Harcourt. They included: Comfort Adangor, Lessor Konya, Amanda Chinwe Nsirim, Chidubem Chinelo Odili, Beauty Emmanuel Okere and Cecilia Ledum Mitee.
Others were Philips Dike Udenna, Nnenda Anugbuom, Nneka Obuzo, Wibani Omonigo and Linda Sotonye Harry.
During the swearing ceremony, Justice Iyayi-Laminkara charged the magistrates to be professional in the discharge their duties.
She urged them to remain impartial in judgment and protect the rights of people.
Justice Iyayi-Laminkara who noted that the magistrates face a lot of challenges in the society, advised them on good integrity. She disclosed that with the new magistrates, the numerical strength of the Magistrates in the State Judiciary has risen to 64.
She said “The Magistrate is recognized as an integral part of judiciary of Rivers State. as at today, the Rivers State Judiciary on record has about 63 serving magistrates of various orders; the Chief Registrar, Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission, and the Deputy Chief Registrars inclusive manning the part A magisterial District spread across the Local Government Areas of the state.
“The magistrates’ takes charge of our civil and criminal matters in Rivers State, adjudicating over 60 percent of civil and criminal matters especially. The magistrates face alot of issues relating to its role in society and its work load together with the serious problem of criminal cases beyond its criminal jurisdiction.
“As a part of society, it will be noted that we are experiencing increase in the menace of killing, kidnapping, child thefts and other serious charge which are beyond the jurisdiction of magistrate, except remand jurisdiction as permitted under Section 300 of the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Law No 7 of 2015. Have a duty to protect the right of suspects, defenders and victims of crime and also protect the society we live in the discharge of your duties as magistrates.
“A major challenge facing the magistrate in Nigeria today is the delay in the administration of justice and this is due to many factors which are always at the front burner of public dispose. As a magistrates, you have to apply yourselves diligently to your duties, be discipline, focus, fearless and impartial in the performance of your duties avoid unnecessary atonement and lateness to work, discharge you duty with competent and great sense of responsibility and shun corruption and show example at all time” Justice Iyayi-Laminkara stressed.