ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU writes that Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka diocese (Anglican Communion), The Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim, PhD, has called for a more practical approach to the administration of justice in Nigeria.
Archbishop Ibezim made this call during the ‘Anambra state Government’s Annual Legal Year’ service which took place at the Cathedral Church of St. Faith, Awka.
Archbishop Ibezim while charging legal practitioners in Nigeria to embrace the fear of God in the discharge of their legal duties noted that the contemporary legal practitioners in the country do not discharge their duties with fear God. He reminded them that God is only looking for judges with integrity.
Delivering his sermon on the ‘parable of the persistent widow’ drawn from Luke 8: 1- 8, Archbishop Ibezim urged Christians to pray continuously and consistently adding that the parable is aimed at enabling Christians not to lose hope in time of adversity. He said that most Christians are already living in fear with what is happening in the country presently.
Archbishop Ibezim who also spoke on the theme of the legal year’s service ‘Administration of Justice In Contemporary time; Appraisal and Challenges,’ called for a more practical approach to the administration of Justice in the country ,adding that it is only the practical application of justice will produce results in the life of the people.
According to the Anglican Prelate, “legal professionals must fear God because it is the responsibility God bestowed on them.”
He said that God is looking for judges that have the fear of God in them.
His words: ” if you do not have the fear of God in what you are practicing, you are heaping fire on your head. God is looking for judges with integrity,” he said.
While citing recent EndSARS protests as example of quest for justice in the country, he said that the problem in Nigeria is that a lot of people from different quarters are crying for justice reminding that it is the responsibility of the legal professionals to grant the people justice.
Ibezim further said that Nigeria is currently experiencing all manner of agitations because the political leaders have not cared for the plight of the masses that are mostly hungry and hopeless in the society.
Bringing the perspective to Anambra, Archbishop Ibezim appealed to the executive, legislative and judiciary arm to work as a team for there is urgent need to go back to serious practical approach that will work in the state.
He also called on the governments at various levels to go back into serious agriculture noting that political agriculture will not take the country anywhere as too much dependence on oil has made Nigeria a failed nation.
He even regretted the manner at which the Nigeria governments allowed palm oil of the south to be hijacked by Malaysia even the cocoa business of the west and groundnut business of the north and noted that the country must recover agriculturally for peace to rain.
Archbishop Ibezim who also noted that Nigeria must go back to her root to redesign her future reminded Nigerians that the country can only achieve that if they pray fervently as well as build their hope in God.
He blamed selfish ambition on the part of political for the continued failure of the system, adding that the country needs a re-examination of seeking political offices as a lot of political officeholders depend on money to service the system while according to him, a lot of people join politics because they see it as a way to gather wealth.
He urged leaders to pay price of leadership by contributing for the growth of the system. He said no system survives when the leader is taking from it but rather should bring into the system.
Speaking on the parable of consistent widow, as recorded in St. Luke’s gospel, Archbishop Ibezim, urged people of God not to lose hope over challenges of life, including pervasive injustices fueling societal unrest.
Archbishop Ibezim, who praised the theme of the ceremonies, “Administration Of Justice In Contemporary Times: Appraisal And Challenges”, cautioned those in leadership positions, especially those directly in charge of administration of justice to fear God, and always pray for divine wisdom, insisting that justice can’t be dispensed effectively in atmosphere of chaos and anarchy.
While recommending re-examination of certain political positions to determine their usefulness or otherwise, Archbishop Ibezim, called on leaders to always pay prices of leadership, adding that self-determination should be done through prayer and dependency on God.
The Eucharistic thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of St. Faith, Awka was used to commence the 2020/2021 legal year of Anambra state Judiciary led by the State Chief Judge, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu.
In attendance were Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, his wife, Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme), Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Honourable Paschal Agbodike, Chief of staff to Obiano, Chief Primus Odili, Traditional ruler of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwosu, represented by the Traditional Prime Minister, Chief Benjamin Okoye, and a host of other personalities.