*Urges Governor To Stop Planned Relocation Of Ministry Of Justice Effurun, Zonal Office.

The Nigerian Bar Association, Effurun Branch, has written the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa drawing his attention to alleged illegal acquisition of and encroachment on lands belonging to the High Court and Magistrates Court of Effrun.

In a letter addressed to the State Governor jointly signed by its Chairman, Jonathan Ekperusi and Secretary, Kingsley Okes Idisi, made available to TheNigeriaLawyer, the branch said politicians are the ones behind such illegal encroachment

They also kicked against the planned relocation of the Effurun Zonal office of the Ministry of Justice because according to them, doing that will cause serious hardship to the staff of the office, lawyers and litigants generally and would give the politicians more opportunity to encroach more on the land

The statement reads in part, “On behalf of the Officers, Leaders, and Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Effurun Branch,  we wish to bring to your Excellency’s attention the resolution of the NBA Effurun Branch at its Monthly General Meeting held on Sunday, 28th February, 2021 at the bar center, High Court complex, Effurun where it was resolved that the Delta State Government should be called upon to immediately take steps to stop the continuous encroachments on the High Court and Magistrate Court lands at Effurun Judicial Division of the High Court of Delta State and to remedy the wrongs.

“It was observed that a number of politicians have illegally acquired lands belonging to the Effurun Judicial Division of the High Court of Delta State, where the Magistrate Court No. 1, Effurun and the Effurun Zonal Office of the Delta State Ministry of Justice are presently located. The situation has terribly degenerated to the extent that private individuals have illegally developed and are now residing at the premises of the Magistrate Court No. 1, Effurun where the Effurun Zonal Office of the Delta State Ministry of Justice is located, thereby rendering the Effurun Zonal Office of the Ministry of Justice without a befitting Office space. The NBA Effurun Branch is aware that plans are ongoing to relocate the Effurun Zonal Office of the Ministry of Justice to a different location outside Effurun. Relocating the Effurun Zonal Office of the Ministry of Justice outside Effurun would work serious hardship on the staff of the Office and occasion heavy burdens on Lawyers and litigants who use that Office.

“The NBA Effurun Branch also observed that once the Effurun Zonal Office of the Ministry of Justice is relocated from the premises of the Magistrate Court No. 1, Effurun, the entire land would be taken over by politicians, who have continued to illegally acquire and develop lands originally allocated to the Effurun Judicial Division of the High Court of Delta State.”

In view of the above, the Effurun NBA Branch resolved at its General Meeting which held on Sunday, 28th February, 2021 that the Governor should urgently intervene in the matter by “stopping the relocation of the Effurun Zonal Office of the Delta State Ministry of Justice to any location outside Effurun;”

They also urged him to provide the Effurun Zonal Office of the Delta State Ministry of Justice with a befitting Office space in Effurun, preferably within or around the High Court/Magistrate Court, Effurun;” and to set “up an inquiry into the repeated encroachments on the lands of the High Court and Magistrate Court Effurun by politicians over the years, including those who have built on former Judges Quarters and/or residences within the lands of the Effurun Judicial Division of the High Court of Delta State, with a view to restoring the lands and the illegal developments thereon back to the Courts”

Lastly, they called on him to direct “the appropriate Ministry, Department or Agency of the Delta State Government to take urgent steps towards ensuring that the lands of the Effurun Judicial Division of the High Court of Delta State are not encroached upon in the future.”

“The NBA Effurun Branch wishes to commend Your Excellency for the ongoing urban renewal efforts in Effurun, Warri and its environs, especially the ongoing Road and Drainage work along P.T.I Road, Uti Street, Commissioner Street, Ugbolokposo Road and the Effurun/Sapele Road, among others, all in Effurun and its environs. We also appreciate Your Excellency’s ongoing efforts at improving the facilities of the Judiciary in Delta State, especially the ongoing work at the High Court Complex at Okpanam Road, Asaba.” the letter further reads

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