By Sylvia Eta
The consistent yearly reduction in the staff strength of the Cross River State Judiciary is said to constitute an eminent and huge danger to the Rule of Law and justice delivery in the state.
Figures reeled out by the Cross River State Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam at the opening ceremony of the 2014/2015 Legal Year of the state indicates that in 1999, the staff strength of the state judiciary stood at 2000 as against the current figure of 741.
The information provided by the Cross River State CJ explained that as at 2013, the staff strength was 779, but that between then and now, 29 staff had retired while nine were lost to death.
This is against the background of 57,425 cases that are pending at various courts in the state.
He disclosed that there was the urgent need for the employment of more qualified staff to fill the vacant positions to meet the ever increasing need for the dispensation of justice and efficient functioning of courts in Cross River State.
Justice Itam said he firmly believes that the present gross under staffing which the state judiciary suffers was not in the best interest of anybody, asserting that it was dangerous “to the poor and to the rich, to the young and to the old, to the male and to the female and once again to us all.
“There is no barrier, no boundary and no hiding place to any of us, irrespective of tongue, tribe, place, color, race and religion. May we please remind and warn all those who claim that the administration of justice is too expensive and inconvenient, to be always ready for the alternative – insecurity, lawlessness, impunity, etc”.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.