The Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Benjamin Njemanze, has reminded media practitioners that they are key players in the administration of justice.
He made the observation at the beginning of the 2012 Legal Year in the State.
Justice Njemanze advised the journalists against sensationalism saying that it sometimes amounts to misrepresentation capable of leading to faulty predication of Judgement by the public.
He maintained that matters pending before a court are considered “sub judice”, although the press could cover court proceedings responsibly.
While thanking the planners and the government for making the occasion a success, he warned those who perform judicial function without Legal backing to desist forthwith.
Justice Njemanze enumerated some of the achievements recorded during his tenure to include sinking of bore-hole at high court in Aboh-Mbaise and that of judges quarters at Mbano Street Owerri, as well as getting the state government to build a High Court Complex at Unugwuna, adding that Governor Okorocha also donated a 12- seater Bus to the judiciary among other facilities. While expressing gratitude to the governor, he appealed for financial autonomy by the government to enable them execute some projects that help in justice delivery.
Presenting his speech at the occasion the Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Owerri branch, Bar. S.I. Opara Esq (KSM), lamented the neglect of the judiciary by the other arms of government not withstanding the constitution provisions.
He pointed out in-adequate budgetary allocation and denial of financial autonomy by the executives as factors that hamper their job as court halls/rooms and general premises are not adequately maintained for lack of funds.
The Chairman also listed other challenges facing the judiciary as lack of good vehicles for judges, magistrates, chairmen of customary courts and other officials, inability of government to sponsor their staff in National and international workshops/seminars as well as inadequate staff to man the courts despite existing vacancies.
He then called on the government to rise to the occasion and ensure that these anomalies are corrected down for smooth operation and quick dispensation justice In Imo State as the judiciary is the only arm of government that stabilizes democracy by settling all disputes and resolving all issues that arise in operation of democracy.