The Guardian (Nigeria)

Judicial autonomy war not over, Delta CJ declares

Okowa greets Oraka- Onojeje on elevation in U. S. Navy

- From Monday Osayande, Asaba

CHIEF Judge of Delta State, Justice Theresa Diai, has declared that the war between the executive arm and the judiciary over financial autonomy is still on, insisting that only the battle has been won.

The Guardian recalled that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had declared at several fora that the state judiciary had been granted financial autonomy even before the protracted national strike embarked upon by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria ( JUSUN).

But, speaking at a dinner organised for South- South delegates of the union in Asaba at the weekend, Diai, who commended the workers for fighting for judicial autonomy, said she was at crossroads over the matter.

Speaking, National Vice president, South- South Zone, George Sokari, said: “Indeed the war is still raging even though the battle may appear to be over. There are a number of issues to be resolved, especially at this point where most leaders have declared publicly that the judiciary is enjoying autonomy.”

Sokari said JUSUN’S position was clear on the matter, adding: “W are not joining issues with the authoritie­s, but we are looking at what the constituti­onal provision in line with what judicial autonomy should be and how it should practiced.”

He added that at the level of the Delta State judiciary, the union was aware that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had often stressed that the judiciary was enjoying autonomy.

Delta State Chairman of JUSUN, Augustine Chiejina, who welcomed the delegates, expressed delight that the state judiciary was united and was ready to work for the good of all Delta people.

MEANWHILE, Okowa has congratula­ted Navy Commander Hetty OrakaOnoje­je on her promotion to the rank ( 0- 5) in the United States ( U. S.) Navy.

Oraka- Onojeje, who hails from Uvwie Council of the state, was elevated to her new rank on July 1, 2021, and with the promotion, she reportedly becomes the first black woman to be promoted to that rank in the U. S. Navy.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, Okowa said the state government and the people were proud of Oraka- Onojeje’s attainment, describing her as an “energetic, result- driven and highly motivated officer.”

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