Delta State Ranks First in Criminal Justice Reforms

According to the Abuja-based Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Delta State rated top in the country in terms of Criminal Justice Reform.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori said at the swearing-in of three newly appointed Commissioners in Asaba on Thursday that the state accomplished the feat after the State House of Assembly passed the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2022 and the Administration of Civil Justice Law 2022 under his leadership as Speaker.

The new Commissioners are: Mr. Ekemejero Ohwovoriole, SAN, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice; Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, Commissioner for Information; and Prince Kelly Kalanama Penawou, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

He characterized the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ekemejero Ohwovoriole SAN, as a clever and capable lawyer trained in the highest legal practices.

“Deep, driven, and devoted to his craft, Mr Ohwovoriole brings to the office almost 30 years of distinguished service at the Bar” .

He challenged the next Attorney-General to maintain the state’s pioneering role in Criminal Justice Reforms, noting that the state’s criminal justice laws are largely regarded as 21st-century compliant, particularly when it comes to technology.

“The transition time for both laws concluded on December 22, 2023. So both statutes are now in effect in all Delta State courts.

“To maintain its leadership position, Delta State must ensure the rigorous and successful execution of these laws.

“Only recently, the Attorneys-General of the South-east states approved the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2022 as their model, describing it as “a unique framework for the administration of criminal justice.”

Oborevwori went on to say that the new Commissioner for Information, Dr Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, is a seasoned communicator with extensive experience in political communication and information management, having previously served as the PDP State Publicity Secretary for the past eight years.

“His position as Information Commissioner is fully deserved. Dr. Osuoza, also known as Agenda, is a dedicated PDP member, humble leader, ardent communicator, and relentless public commentator.

“I am confident that he will significantly improve the government’s information management equipment. I expect creativity and innovation in government communication to enable an optimal, fact-based projection of the government’s policies, initiatives, successes, and actions.

“One significant transformation I would like to see in the Information Ministry is for it to expand beyond information and engage in positive citizen engagement and mobilisation.

“I believe that stakeholder perception audits should be a fundamental part of the information ministry’s operations.

“It should serve in the best traditions as a sensor, gathering intelligence and inputs from the citizenry that would form the basis of the policies and programmes of the government.”

Governor Oborevwori remarked that the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Kelly Kalanama Penawou, is a highly respected grassroots politician with vast expertise in local government administration.

He stated that he expects nothing but brilliance and exceptional performance from him, having served as Special Adviser on Local Government Affairs in the previous government.

He challenged the commissioners to set a good example in their respective ministries.

Oborevwori stated, “To the commissioners, I leave you with no charge other than the one I issued to your colleagues, which I quote.

“As heads of Ministries, your personal example is the most potent leadership instrument you have. You must be a role model for timeliness, discipline, hard effort, excellence, honesty, transparency, and accountability. People will follow your actions, not your words. As a result, you must make every effort to align your words with your deeds.

“Let fairness, equity, and justice drive your activities, and ensure that all citizens have an equal opportunity to benefit from our programmes and services. In this sense, you should avoid ethnic politics and divisive inclinations. You are to have an open-door policy in your ministries and be available to everyone.

“I wish to reassure Deltans that with the distraction of the court cases now behind us, this administration is poised to fully focus on the business of advancing Delta State through accelerated infrastructural development, more job opportunities, improved learning climate in our schools, and better working conditions for workers in the public service.

“What we have accomplished in the last seven months will pale in comparison to what we want to do in the next months and years. Rest assured, we are committed to making life richer, better, and more fulfilling for all Deltans.”

He challenged all political appointees to pull up their sleeves and redouble their efforts to contribute their fair share to the effective and successful implementation of the MORE agenda.

“We must reciprocate the massive mandate given to us by the good people of Delta State with sincerity of purpose, empathy with the people, and improved service delivery, in the discharge of our duties.”

Responding, the Commissioner for Information, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza, thanked God and the Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, for selecting them to serve as Commissioners.

He told Deltans that they would do their utmost to serve the state through the MORE agenda.

The ceremony was attended by the State’s Deputy Governor, Sir Monday Onyeme, former Deputy Governors of the State, Chief Benjamin Elue and Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Emomotimi Guwor, his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Arthur Akpowowo, State PDP Chairman, Dr Kingsley Esiso, Senator James Manager, Olorogun J. U. Oguma, Chief Chris Agbobu, and Dr Gabriel Ogbechie, among others.

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