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2023 Elections: Jonathan Advises Politicians Not To Be Blinded By Power

Insisting that society is dynamic, former president Goodluck Jonathan has urged the political establishment to give the court the freedom to carry out its constitutional duties.

He made the call at the book presentation/reception that wrapped up a week of events in Yenagoa honoring Justice Kate Abiri, the chief judge of the Bayelsa State.

Jonathan praised the crucial part Justice Abiri played in avoiding a constitutional crisis by ordaining Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers State.

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The former President encouraged judicial officials to strive to be impartial and brave in preserving the rule of law, which, he added, was important in the administration of justice. He also warned politicians not to be blinded by the power they wield.


Jonathan said, “I advise politicians that while in office, let us not try to blackmail the judiciary because it is conservative. When we get political power, we get so blinded. Politicians should know that society is changing.

“Today, we are celebrating our retiring Chief Judge because she has served meritoriously. In 2015, she left Bayelsa for Rivers to perform the swearing-in of the governor thereby averting anarchy. It appears that the judicial arm is more functional than the executive.”

The governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, praised Justice Abiri for her remarkable accomplishments in his remarks and mentioned that throughout her 15-year tenure as Chief Judge, she swore in three governors for Bayelsa and one for Rivers.

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In her three decades of legal profession, Abiri served the state with pristine and meritorious service, according to Diri, who also noted that the state would continue to need her services due to her dedication and depth of knowledge.

Wole Olanikpekun (SAN), the event’s chairman and head of the Body of Benchers, praised Abiri as an exquisite, smart, and diligent jurist who exemplifies the greatest in the legal field.

Three books were unveiled at the event which include, “Kate Abiri: Footprints on the Bench,” “Judges and Judging in Nigeria” and “Bayelsa State Law Reports: Volume One.”


In her response, Justice Abiri specifically thanked the governor of Bayelsa State for introducing financial autonomy and making her time under his administration easy.


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