By Izunna Okafor
The Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Onochie Manasseh Anyachebelu, on Thursday, dedicated the newly renovated and refurbished Magistrates' Court, Ukpor, in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The newly dedicated court renovated by Ukpor Improvement Union (U.I.U.) has new and quality furnitures (both for the Presiding Magistrate, the bar, the expected registry and the clerical staff), spacious car park, generator set for lighting, water cistern toilets, as well as the refurbished and painted court building itself, among other infrastructures and facilities.
Speaking at the event, the President General of Ukpor Improvement Union, Chief Emmanuel Nwachukwu recalled that the structure housing the court is a patriotic donation by Dara Okpara Kindred (which hitherto had it as their hall) to Umuhu village, which in turn, donated it to Ukpor Town which has ultimately donated it to Anambra State Government.
"This passing of baton of donations," he said, "was borne out of yearnings and aspirations of Ndi Ukpor to have a Magistrate's Court at Ukpor, in order to reduce the cost of accessing the services of a Magistrate's Court, both for Ndi Ukpor and the entire people of Nnewi South Local Government Area."
While appreciating everyone who contributed in one way or the other to the successful completion of the project, Chief Nwachukwu extolled Justice Anyachebelu for availing his presence at the event.
"My lord, with the above-mentioned facilities in place, my people's expectation and passionate hope are that your lordship will grant this new Magistrate Court in Ukpor the status of 'Ukpor Magisterial District' as soon as it is practicable."
Responding, Justice Anyachebelu who registered his amazement over the gargantuanness of the work done both inside and outside the court building, appreciated Ndi Ukpor for setting the pace, and urged other town unions, groups, or associations to emulate such, as government alone cannot be left to do everything.
He said that Ndi Ukpor's request for 'Ukpor Magisterial District' has been noted, but also reminded them that there are processes and requirements for actualising that, which when satisfactorily met, guarantees the possible and expected fulfilment of their request.
On his own part, the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nnewi Branch, Kingsle Awuka Esq. who expressed happiness that the Court will now be sitting on permanent basis, rather than on the basis of shifts, noted that the project will increase and expand space for their legal services, as well as enhance justice delivery capacity of the state's judiciary.
Contributing, the Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi South Local Government Area, Engr. Chieloka Henry Okoye described judiciary as a very important arm of government, owing to its roles of administration of justice and maintenance of law and order in the society.
While calling on people to always make use of court for settlement of critical disputes, rather than taking laws into their hands, Engr. Okoye assured that his administration will do follow the necessary steps and fulfil the necessary requirements to see the fruition and actualisation of the requested Magisterial District in the local government area.
In a remark, an indigen of the community and member representing Nnewi South Constituency 2 in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Honourable Johnbosco Akaegbobi who highlighted some of the achievements of the current administration of Ukpor Improvement Union under Chief Emmanuel Nwachukwu, appreciated the town's apex body for the job well-done in refurbishing and making the court wear a new look.
He also pledged to follow up and give every necessary support to ensure the soonest materialisation of Ukpor Magisterial District, which he acknowledged he had sometime discussed with Justice Anyachebelu.
Others present at the event include the Traditional Ruler of Ukpor, H.R.M. Igwe Felix Chinedu Onyimmadu; the Presiding Magistrate of Ukpor Magistrate Court, His Worship, E.C. Okwudili Esq.; the new President-elect of Ukpor Improvement Union, Chief Ignatius Nwawulu; Chairman, Board of Trustees, U.I.U, Dim Nna O. Nnakife, among others.
Cutting of the dedication tape, unveiling of the foundation stone, and inspection of the Court by Justice Anyachebelu formed the highpoints of the event.