Mr. Nyesom Wike, the Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), stressed the critical role played by the judiciary in upholding democracy in the country. During a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja, led by Hon. Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the Minister expressed his belief that the judiciary, as an independent branch of government, is indispensable for the preservation of democracy and should be held in equal esteem alongside other branches of government.
He assured that the FCT Administration would continue to provide essential support to enhance the judiciary’s functioning in the territory. Furthermore, he mentioned that the 2023 supplementary budget of the FCT includes provisions for the construction of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal. He stated, “Just yesterday, I presented the supplementary budget at the National Assembly, and in it, we have included funding for the construction of the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal.”
Regarding the request for land allocation to Federal High Court Judges, the Minister assured that the FCT Administration would allocate land to them, but it would be done in phases. He also committed to providing infrastructure in areas where allocations had been made by his predecessors to promote development.
The Minister added, “If there are any other challenges that you believe the administration can assist with, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a solution.”
Beforehand, Hon. Justice Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, praised Barrister Wike for his selfless service to the people of Rivers State and his support for the judiciary as his primary constituency. However, Justice Tsoho expressed concern about the frequent reassignments and transfers of Federal High Court Judges due to the nature of their roles, which often led to them missing out on various policies aimed at improving the welfare of judges and justices, both current and retired, since they are unlikely to be posted to their home states.
He appealed to the FCT Minister to allocate land in the FCT to serving Federal High Court Judges as a form of recognition for their nationwide service, making them federal citizens.
Also present were Hon. Justices G.K. Olotu, B.F.N. Nyako, I.E. Ekwo, and D.U. Okorowo, as well as senior officials of the FCTA.