Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma has said his desire to strengthen the judiciary in the state was the reason the first bill he signed into law as governor was the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Gov Uzodimma spoke on Thursday while declaring open the 2022 Imo Justice Summit held in Owerri, the state capital.

The theme of the summit was: ‘Towards an effective justice delivery system in Imo State’.

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He said that the law which he signed was to accelerate quick justice delivery as against what existed before his assumption of office on January 15, 2020.

The governor said it is unthinkable that a suspect could be kept on awaiting-trial for over six years “when if sentenced could have stayed only 18 months”.

He described the situation as a matter that gave stakeholders concern that resulted in huge investment of capital in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

He said that “ADR was an indictment on the judicial system just because of lack of manpower or whatever the system that was operated could not accelerate.”

The governor asserted that “the society could only get a quick and actionable reform when the administration of justice is accelerated and when we come together such as in seminars and workshops of this nature to brainstorm.”

The governor said it was for these reasons he approved the summit and other trainings for the judicial officers and their management to sanitize the state judicial system and encourage speedy justice delivery to Imo people.

He congratulated the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief COC Akaolisa and the Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Theresa Chukwuemeka Chikeka, for “putting together the idea and for the opportunity created for the learned and very intellectual men and women of justice delivery in Imo State to attend this summit.”

He urged them not to despair, noting that “gradually the administration in Imo State is sanitizing the system,” as what he met on ground in 2020 when he assumed office as governor is now a “far cry from what we have now.”

Governor Uzodimma insisted that with commitment and proper synergy, the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Service Commission, the people of Imo State and all stakeholders will get to the targeted destination.

Earlier, the Imo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. COC Akaolisa thanked the governor for his approval that made it possible for the summit to hold and for coming in person to declare the summit open. 

He assured the governor that from what is put together in the summit, the judicial officers will leave the summit better than they met it.


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