Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has sworn in two new High Court Judges into the state judiciary with a charge on the new judicial officers to perform their duties without fear.
The newly sworn-in judges are Justice Ben-Whyte Opufaa and Justice Gbasam Okogbule.
During the swearing-in at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday, Wike said due to fear, some judges now instigate petitions against themselves to avoid presiding over some perceived sensitive matters.
“This country cannot move forward if the judiciary does not come out to say we must be firm to do our work,” he said.
“Whatever you believe that is right do it. It doesn’t matter who is involved. Don’t be intimidated by the Federal Government,” he said.
He also advised the judges to resist the attempt by some lawyers to seek transfer of cases unnecessarily.
On the issue of independence of the judiciary, the governor observed that this has been narrowed to the ability of the judiciary to control its capital fund and overhead.
While noting that the judiciary may have all the money in the world and still not be independent, Wike said there is the need for judges to discharge their constitutional duties in accordance with the law.
He also advised the two newly sworn-in judges to use their energy to advance the course of justice and refused to be intimidated.