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Gov. Diri assures judicial officers of better retirement benefits

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YENAGOA ___The Bayelsa State Government has assured both serving and retired judges of the state judiciary of its commitment to their welfare.

The state governor, Douye Diri, gave the assurance on Friday at a special valedictory court session held in honour of Justice Lucky Boufini at the Chief Judge’s Court, Ovom in Yenagoa.

Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor said government had already taken the initiative to build befitting residences for top judicial officers at a more secure and suitable location within the Yenagoa metropolis.

He eulogised Justice Boufini as an erudite and incorruptible judge who meritoriously served the judiciary in old Rivers and Bayelsa states in various capacities.

According to Diri, the retired Judge creditably discharged his responsibilities as a Magistrate, Chief Registrar and bowed out as a High Court Judge in the state.

Diri, however, lamented that the exit of Justice Boufini from service on account of retirement had created a huge vacuum, which he noted, would be difficult to fill in the short term.

Responding to a demand for more judges to be appointed in the state to strengthen the bench, he clarified that the appointment of judges was not the exclusive preserve of the state government because it is subject to approval by the National Judicial Council.

Diri, who assured members of the Bench and the Bar that government would look into issues bordering on office accommodation and welfare package for retired judicial officers, wished Justice Boufini happy retirement, sound health and divine protection.

He said: “As a matter of fact, the place you saw and described as the Judges Quarters was initially considered but clearly that place will no longer be used for that purpose.

“I can assure you that the prosperity government is conscious of the welfare of Judges while serving and even upon retirement; because there is no need protecting a man while he is serving and then expose him to untold hardship upon retirement.”

Earlier in her remarks, the state Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, said the special court session was organised as part of activities to honour Justice Boufini’s 37 fruitful years of service.

In his address, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Biriyai Dambo (SAN), described the just-retired Justice Lucky Boufini as a wonderful and industrious judge who distinguished himself on the bench.

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