By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Josiah Majebi has called on judicial Officers to guard against unnecessary delay in dispensation of criminal cases for personal gains and avoid all forms of negative conduct in the discharge of their duties.

Justice Majebi made the call at a Valedictory Court Session in honour of retiring Hon. Justice Esther Onuche Haruna who bowed out as a Judge of the Kogi State High Court on Thursday in Lokoja.

The Chief Judge decried situations where criminal cases are unnecessarily delayed to attract possible advantage and personal gains saying such cases should be dispensed with utmost despatch and due diligence.

Majebi described Justice Esther Onuche Haruna as an incorruptible judge who performed various assignments given her with utmost sense of responsibility.

According to him, the retiring judge was of impeccable character, humble disposition, unblemished record of service in Kogi State and Nigeria adding that she would be greatly missed.

Speaking at the occasion, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) who represented Body of Senior Advocates, described Justice Esther Onuche Haruna as a Judicial Amazon who had continued to serve a role model to upcoming Judicial Officers.

Okutepa tasked judges to remain apolitical and exhibit their aloofness and high sense of patriotism and integrity while performing their duties.

In his message to the occasion, Governor Yahaya Bello promised government’s continued partnership with the judiciary to achieve set goals.

The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Chief Edward David Onoja, expressed appreciation to Justice Esther Haruna for her selfless service to her fatherland and wished her the best in retirement.

In his goodwill message, Barrister Iliayasu Alhassan, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Lokoja Branch, solicited more attention for welfare of Magistrates in Kogi State.

In her valedictory speech, Justice Esther Onuche Haruna attributed her achievement to God’s grace and support of her husband adding that judicial icons like late Justice Alhassan Idoko, James Ogebe and Justice Umaru Eri also played vital roles in her journey in the Judiciary.

She equally expressed appreciation to the State Chief Judge, Justice Josiah Joe Majebi, other High Court judges as well as other Heads of Courts for thier unflinching support during her years in service.

She appealed to judicial Officers to remain fair and just in the discharge of their duties by avoiding acts inimical to judicial procedures.

Justice Esther Haruna was appointed as Magistrate II in 1986, Judge of Kogi state High Court on 28th December, 2005 and retired after attaining the statutory retiring age of 65.

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