Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has sworn in Justice Yakubu Dakwak as the Acting Chief Judge of the state following the retirement of the former chief judge, Justice Pius Damulak. Speaking at the ceremony on Saturday in Jos, Lalong said that the swearing in of Dakwak was in line with the provisions of the law. “Today’s swearing in of my Lord, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, as Acting Chief Judge of Plateau, is in keeping with judicial precedence and the time-tested tradition of succession on the bench by seniority. “Nature abhors a vacuum and so does the Judiciary. I have therefore considered it imperative to exercise without delay the duty of swearing in an Acting Chief Judge for the state. “Through the administration of the oath of allegiance in keeping with the provision of section 271(2) (3) and particularly sub section (4) of the 1999 constitution as amended, the process for the confirmation or appointment of the substantive Chief Judge shall follow constitutionally laid down procedure and this shall commence immediately,” he said.
Lalong expressed the hope that the new judge would work closely with all stakeholders in the judiciary to fight against corruption, mal-administration and misappropriation of finds in the country. He added that a clean judiciary was the altar for the sanitisation of any country, punishment for crime, remedy for injuries and the enthronement of respect for the rule of law. “At this crucial time of our nation’s fight against corruption and all forms of mal-administration and misappropriation of our common wealth, all eyes are on you to do the needful.
“This you can achieve by joining hands with all stakeholders in the judiciary to sanitise our nation; this is so because it represents the hope for the groaning masses for a redeemable future for posterity,’’ he said. Lalong reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that it provided the necessary support and statutory requirement of office to enable the judiciary to function effectively. He also promised to ensure that the independence of the judiciary remained sacrosanct. In an acceptance speech, Dakwak pledged to ensure that the affairs of the judiciary in the state were run in accordance with the law.
Dakwak also said that the judiciary would fight against corruption in what ever form it appeared as it was capable of weakening the judiciary. The acting CJ said that rules of court would be reviewed with the aim of ensuring speedy trials. “I will ensure that in running the affairs of the judiciary of this state, I stick to observance of the provisions of the constitution. “As an institution, the judiciary will fight against corruption in whatever way or shape it rears its ugly head, this is because corruption makes the judiciary weak. “I will look into the rules of court, with a view to ensuring speedy trials and disposal of matters,” he said.