Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa has commended the immediate past President of the state Customary Court of Appeal (CCA), Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze and her predecessor, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene for their inspiring contributions to the development of customary court in the state.
Okowa gave the commendation at a state banquet dinner organised in honour of the two retired Presidents of the Customary Court of Appeal held on Tuesday evening at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
According to him, the duo of Justice Stella Oghene and Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze, worked very hard to build the customary court in Delta State, adding that he was very grateful about their remarkable contributions in the judiciary.
He disclosed that Hon. Justice Stella Oghene who retired in 2020, worked very hard to build the customary court in Delta State, pointing out that she handed over to another sister of hers, Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze who, he said, also worked so hard to keep the flag flying.
“I truly thank God that the SSG and the Attorney General are able to put this together in short a time. I am glad that we are actually hosting two persons who truly worked so committed for the growth of the judiciary in this state.
“We truly appreciate what both of you have done and we thank God that we have this opportunity to honour both of you this evening for your contributions to this state,” the governor said.
Okowa noted that the state cannot grow if all arms of government were not growing and if the state was not able to deliver justice.
He, therefore, thanked God for the warm relationship between the customary court and the high court system in Delta State which, according to him, had promoted effective justice delivery in the state.
“I appreciate all of you who have come to this ceremony to honour them and we pray that we will continue to work closely.
“There is no doubt that in the last eight years, I have had a warm working relationship with the judiciary in the state and even before now, in my various positions I have held in the state. I hope that we will continue in that stead.
“I hope that we are able to get many more judges to come in so that we will not over work those who are already on the seat. We appreciate all of you and even other retired Justices.
“There is a time for everything. You have done your beat and have contributed immensely to the growth of this state and you have exited from your office as other persons take over.
“In the same manner, we pray that we are able to do the best we can to impact on the lives of people and have a good relationship with people so that when we go, people will have something to remember us for,” he added.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Isaiah Bozimo (Esq.) said the state banquet dinner was organised by the Delta State Government to celebrate the extraordinary careers of two inspiring women, Justice Stella Oghene (Retired) and Justice Patience O. Elumeze (Retired).
Bozimo noted that the duo of Justice Oghene and Justice Elumeze have each left their unique mark on the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal as former Presidents, adding that their outstanding achievements and unwavering dedication demonstrated by them have earned them well-deserved recognition and appreciation from the state government.
According to him, their respective contributions to the Delta State Judiciary have left a legacy that will resonate for years to come.
“At this juncture, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to His Excellency, the Governor, for graciously approving this State Banquet and recognising the vital contributions these two exceptional jurists have made to developing our legal system and the Judiciary in Delta State.
“As we enjoy the wonderful activities and delicious cuisine prepared for us tonight, I would like to express my profound gratitude to Hon. Justice Oghene and Hon, Justice Elumeze for their stellar qualities and the inspiring lives they have led. Your presence here tonight is a testament to their impact on all of us,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the retired Presidents of the state CCA, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene expressed appreciation to the state government for the opportunity given to them serve the state, adding that they were very grateful for the state banquet organised in their honour.
It would be recalled that Hon. Justice Stella Oghene was appointed as President, Customary Court of Appeal in 2000 and retired in 2020 while Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze was appointed as President of the CCA in 2020 where she subsequently retired this year.