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July 18, 2018

Imo Legal Year: Governors have no respect for court judgments – Archbishop Obinna

Imo Legal Year: Archbishop Anthony Obinna Bishop Lucius Ugorji with the Chief Judge of Imo State Hon Justice
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It is one thing to say no one is above the law and another to see it happening. But the church is sick and tired of watching politicians crushing justice with money. The biggest culprits are Governors!

The Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri reflected on this ugly development in his homily during a concelebrated Mass to open the 2017/2018 Legal Year of the Imo State Judiciary held, at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, Friday, November 17.

The Archbishop regretted that Nigeria is practicing anarchic democracy where governors neither respect the rule of law nor obey court judgments.

“That some Governors are above the law is the tragedy and travesty of our time,” the Archbishop said, adding that disobedience to the rule of law has reduced court judgments to mere private opinions of the judges.

He worried that after the turbulent military rule, when the judiciary was subjugated to decrees and military command, Nigerians thought that democracy would restore the rule of law. But no, nothing has changed!

“The judiciary still experiences the same military subjugation, though in a subtle way in our current democracy. We need to move away from anarchic democracy that is hateful to “demophilic” democracy that loves and cares for the interest of the masses,” the Archbishop said.

Turning to the bar and bench, the Archbishop said the main objective of our judicial system was the attainment of justice for all parties, rich or poor and appealed to them to have the courage to stand up to the politicians and the bags of money they were prepared to offer in exchange for justice.

The Archbishop also appealed to them to take care of the poor, “not the physically poor but those who are hungry and thirsty for justice; those who are deprived of their rights by our leaders who use police and the law to intimidate the poor.”

He said Nigeria has continued to be a troubled nation, a reluctant country because injustice, nepotism, greed and lust have refused to make Nigeria a loving nation.

He called for efficient and incorruptible judiciary.

Archbishop Obinna was joined at the Mass by Most. Rev. Lucius Ugorji, Catholic Bishop of Umuahia and priests from Owerri and Okigwe dioceses.

In his remarks, the Chief Judge of Imo State, Hon Justice P.O. Nnadi, said the Legal Year ceremonies and Assizes was a very important annual event during which the judiciary of a state offers thanksgiving to the almighty God for his infinite mercies and blessings in the past legal year and solicits the same abundant blessings and sustenance in the present legal year (2017/2018).

On the theme of the Legal Year, “Judicial Reforms and Sustainable Development in Democracy,” Justice Nnadi said it was chosen to draw attention to the laudable and landmark efforts and achievements recorded by the judiciary in Nigeria to reposition, redirect and rejuvenate the administration of justice in the country.

The Mass was attended by Hon. Justice C.U. Anwukah, Acting President Customary Court of Appeal, Owerri, Senior Advocates on Nigeria (SAN), judges, magistrates and lawyers in Imo State and their colleagues from Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia States.



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