By Our Correspondent
In a bid to explore areas of common cooperation while maintaining statutory independence, the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo alongside colleagues yesterday interfaced with the Chief Judge of Cross River State Hon. Justice Okoi Itam.
Speaking at the residence of the Chief Judge in Calabar, the Speaker hinted that issues surrounding the protracted strike by judicial staff in the state would soon be resolved as the Assembly was making frantic efforts towards ensuring that the staff returned to work soon.
He lamented that the industrial action was crippling the judicial system in the state while frowning at the ugly development which he observed was seriously affecting the dispensation of justice.
Acknowledging the strategic roles played by the judiciary in governance, Hon. Lebo sued for a virile relationship between both arms for the smooth functioning of government, adding that the Legislature was open to ideas from the Judiciary for better service delivery.
Responding, the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Okoi Itam thanked the Speaker and colleagues for what he described as a rare gesture, adding that the Hon. John Gaul Lebo was providing dynamic leadership at the House of Assembly.
Justice Itam regretted that the Judiciary of the State suffered negligence and starvation of funds, but expressed excitement that the legislative arm had was intervening in the crisis which has grounded judicial activities in the state.
He observed that government was a tripod comprising of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary where jeopardy in any arm affected the entire system government, stressing that all arms must work harmoniously to ensure success and effective governance.
Also speaking, Justice Emeng Edogi buttressed the Chief Judge’s position saying that the Judiciary was not oblivious of the financial disposition of the state but argued that financial obligations to the arm were hardly met by the Executive.
He stressed that financial impediment not- withstanding; the judicial arm was committed to operating quality justice system in the state, submitting that starving the Judiciary of funds was counterproductive.
On the Speaker’s entourage were the Deputy Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Hon. Joseph Bassey; Hon. Hilary Bisong, Hon. Eteng William Jonah, Hon. Ogana Lukpata, Hon. Elucate Okora, .Hon Stephen Ukpukpen, Hon Elizabeth Ironbar, Hon Mattthew Olory, Hon Itam Abang, Hon Nelson Ofem and Hon Ogbor Ogbor, Hon Regina Anyogo as well as the Clerk of the House Elder Bassey Ekpenyong.
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