Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on Judges to be courageous in order to achieve independence of the judiciary.
Governor Wike who made the call at a Live Television interview said judicial independence would be hard to achieve if Judges are not courageous and determined to uphold the tenets of the profession.
“Independence of the judiciary does not mean to have more money to go on vacation. It is the freedom to attend to legal matters without fear or favour.
“It is not to be tele-guided on how to deliver judgement. Heads of Courts must be able to protect fellow judges instead of succumbing to intimidation.
“Such intimidation has gone far. Now, they use petitions and excuse of insecurity to transfer cases out of a State or from a Judge.
“I have told my Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to write to the Chief Justice of Nigeria that such excuses should not be tolerated. If they are saying that it is because of corruption it is for them to protect their own.
“But to use insecurity to transfer a matter out of Rivers State will not be accepted. In fact, we will sue any person who raises such an excuse and demand a proof.
“We cannot operate like that. Courts sit regularly in States like Borno, Kaduna and Plateau where insecurity is high.
If cases cannot be heard here, then they should close down the Port Harcourt Division of such Court”, he stated.
On the Edo Governorship Election, Governor Wike said the deployment of over 300 policemen with Armoured Personnel Carriers to his Hotel in Benin City was to provoke a shootout with his security aides.
He said the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, knew the nature of the assignment he was to discharge as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council.
“They wanted that provocation to cause a shootout so that they can target me and blame it on the crisis.
“The Inspector General’s action was premeditated because of our resolve to legally challenge the deduction from our revenue for the Police Trust Fund.
“He was also angry over my intervention in the attempted abduction of the former Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joi Nunieh by some police officers at her residence by 4am”, he said.
On the Ondo State Governorship Election, Governor Wike stated that while the fight in Edo was against godfatherism, that of Ondo,will be a vote against failed promises by the All Progressives Congress(APC).
“To gain freedom, sacrifices will be made. Intimidation will come but the people should be firm to defend their votes,” he stated.