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Akwa Ibom strengthens access to justice as CJ swears in 182 customary court members

Akwa Ibom strengthens access to justice as CJ swears in 182 customary court members

Access to justice at the grassroots has been strengthened following the swearing in of 182 customary court members to serve in the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State.

Administering the oath of office, the state Chief Judge, Ekaette Obot urged the customary court members to exhibit a high level of integrity and fairness in the dispensation of justice at the grassroots, saying that justice should be accessible to all.

According to the Chief Judge, 1000 applications were received for appointment as members of the customary courts, adding that the judiciary service commission took time to screen all the applicants before their appointment

The Chief Judge thanked the state government for giving approval for the appointment of the customary court members, saying it was important to make the system work at the local government level. He advised them to be conversant with the relevant laws applicable at the level of governance.

The swearing in ceremony which took place at Judiciary headquarters hall in Uyo, the state capital, attracted judges, family members of those sworn in. It was followed by by a training session conducted by experts and proven resource persons.

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Meanwhile, the state government has urged journalists to evaluate the Arise Agenda with a view to setting an agenda for its implementation.

Ini Ememobong, commissioner for Information, said this during an interaction with journalists in Uyo, the state capital.

He also said that they should understand the key concepts of the state government’s blueprint, giving an assurance that it would not be another jamboree as the state government has given its commitment towards its implementation.

According to him, it is a thoroughly crafted agenda; with action points and timelines clearly stated, and has become a social contract between the government and the people.

“People in representative capacity interrogated the document and now accept this document as the working document of this administration. Therefore, the transitioning between being the private document, the political party agenda to an economic blueprint of government is why I am here.

“And very simply, the government should be judged by this. This has become a social contract and if you read the agenda, you will discover that it is a thoroughly crafted agenda with points and with action points, aspirations clearly listed.

“So, the marketing of this agenda is the duty of the Ministry of Information, but the interrogation of this agenda is the duty of the press and you are well positioned to Interrogate.

“You need to know what it stands for, what it represents, what it promises, so that you can use it to hold the government to account.

“So, the Arise Agenda stands for Agric revolution, rural development, Infrastructure, security, economic and education. Then you see a lot of drop downs. There are 18 focal areas that are drawn from these five aspirations.

“Agric revolution, environmental management, rural development and youth empowerment, Infrastructure Maintenance and advancement, security management, quality educational and health sector management, economic, industrial and social advancement.”

The Commissioner regretted that vandalism has continued to frustrate government efforts to develop some rural communities and urged the media to consistently advocate for community ownership on projects located across the state.