Enugu State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Peter Mbah, has committed to full autonomy of the Enugu State Judiciary as part of his administration’s institutional reforms if elected in 2023.
Mbah also pledged to ensure law review, digitalisation of courts and case management, and access to justice by the vulnerable members of the society through efficient legal aid regime, and uplift the correctional facilities to make them true correctional centres.
The PDP gubernatorial candidate stated this in Enugu, Tuesday, at the opening of the 2022 Law Week of the Enugu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) themed “The Role of Lawyers in Transitional Democracy”.
“I consider myself first and foremost a lawyer. So, after all the elections, after we must have won and done what we promised to do, I will still ultimately and essentially remain a lawyer.
“So, as part of our strategies to actualise our vision for Enugu State, we propose transparent and inclusive governance, which will see us strengthening our institutions and those institutions include the judiciary, the public service, and, of course, the security agencies.
“Under the judiciary, we intend to review our laws so that the laws of Enugu State will be in line with the requirements of modern times. We are going to constitute a high-powered committee that will review our laws to make sure that they are in tune with modern realities, dynamics and global standards.
“Strengthening the judiciary also means that we will ensure full financial autonomy for the judiciary in line with the amendments to the 1999 Constitution. So, we will work with the Chief Judge of Enugu State and the Ministry of Finance to put in place mechanisms that will ensure full financial autonomy for the judiciary.
“If you also look at our programmes in our manifesto towards strengthening our institutions, we propose to digitise our court and case management process.
“Access to justice is also an area we are equally very interested in. Our proposed legal aid regime and procedure will ensure that the vulnerable in our society have access to justice. We intend to review the process of remanding the accused in correctional facilities.
“We must also make sure that our system ensures that the correctional facilities are truly correctional centres rather than a place for terrorising the vulnerable in our society”, Mbah stated.
Dr. Peter Mbah also reiterated his determination to deploy disruptive innovation and creative alternative financing models to actualise his economic blueprint for transforming Enugu State from a public sector driven economy to a private sector-driven economy and grow the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the present $4.4 billion to $30 billion in eight years, which he described as modest.
“I am going to also take this opportunity to paraphrase Lyndon Johnson and say to us that yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is indeed ours to win or lose. I want to tell you that tomorrow is right here with us and we can stretch our hands and grab that tomorrow”, he concluded as he reassured of his determination to replicate his private sector feats in the socioeconomic transformation of the state.