The Governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade inaugurated a statewide five-member Judicial Welfare Review Committee and pledged to do everything in his power to improve the welfare of judicial officials.
Ayade, who launched the committee on Thursday in Calabar, urged committee members to be diligent in their work and deliver their report within two week.
The committee has Retired Judge Eyo Effiong-Eta as President and the State Service Chief, Timothy Akwaji as Secretary.
Other members of the committee include the State Attorney General and Justice Commissioner, Tanko Ashang, Judge Sylvester Obi (Rtd) and Judge Francesca Isong.
The governor listed accommodation, social assistance, vehicles, fuel, diesel support for households, personal security, among the benefits that judicial officials should have without stress.
“On behalf of the government and people of Cross River, I hereby inaugurate you today. I charge you to discharge your duties without fear or favour; be firm and fair and be above all interest.
“I charge you to reflect on the revenue of the state and the sincerity of our commitment to improve and make recommendations that are actionable.
“I don’t want recommendations that are impossible for me to implement, but I want recommendations that when I look at the minimum, there is an improvement in what the Federal Government is paying its judicial official.
“We want to establish a minimum national standard for the country.
“Give me a report that clearly looks at the terrible pain your people are going through and makes recommendations that are classic out of the past, but enough for me to get it done”, he said.
According to him, the welfare of our judicial workers has become a critical issue.
“I have seen that the responsibility and role of judicial officials in this state and this country in general.
“They make decisions that affect the lives of people who might come back and seek revenge on them, but they are so unprotected, not properly fed and cared for.
“When a judge finds himself in the situation of driving a car for 10 to 15 years, when his salary has been fixed for almost 20 years, it is shameful.
“This is a huge challenge and I think it is unacceptable. Cross River may not have, but we are committed to making their lives better”, she added.
Judge Effiong-Eta, responding on behalf of the committee members, promised a thorough job.
“On our honor, we promise that we will do our best. Dear Governor, I want to assure you that what we have said we will do, we will do to the best of our ability”, he said.