The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, said he has received a directive from President Bola Tinubu to allocate lands to judges and officials in other arms of the Federal Government.
Wike made this known during a meeting with Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, on Thursday, where he pledged to put infrastructure in place before land allocation in the FCT.
“Before now, the President had given me the go ahead to allocate lands to the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary. What remains now is how it should be done because the number is too much. What we have decided to do is to do this in phases. All cannot be done at the same time.
“Some allocations were done in the past but unfortunately, some of the places are inaccessible. I think it is baseless to allocate land where people have no access, that is, infrastructure. It does not make any sense. So, we will allocate lands to you in places that are accessible”.
Earlier, the minister stressed the economic importance of accessible areas for land allocation and expressed his respect for the Judiciary and the Legislature, emphasizing the equality and independence of the three branches of government.
Justice Tsoho had requested the minister to consider the judiciary in the allocation of lands.
Wike in his response said, “Like you rightly said, I believe that the three arms of government must work together even though independently and I believe that no arm of government should be treated lesser than the other.
“Without the judiciary, our democracy cannot survive. Nigerians are talking about the judiciary today because of the role you play and so whatever is required to strengthen the judiciary is not over-demanding.”
Justice Tsoho lauded Wike for his support of the judicial arm, noting that during his tenure as Rivers State governor, the well-being of judicial officers was prioritised.
He said that Wike’s track record in Rivers likely contributed to his current position.
“I commend Your Excellency’s bias for the judiciary and you have always seen it as your primary constituency. The welfare of the Rivers state judiciary was second to none and you raised the bar so high that it became the envy of judicial officers in other states.
“It is with that confidence that we bring the anguish of the FHC to you. The peculiarities of our job due to transfers takes us to several places. Consequently, we are denied various forms of policies for enhancing welfare of judges since we are not part of the judiciary of those states and failure to cater for our interests at the Federal level makes us stateless.
“I kindly urge your excellency to use your good offices in allocating landed property to FHC judges. We appreciate our large number and recommend that this be done in batches, scattered across the FCT,” he requested.
Justice Tsoho also informed the minister about the upcoming December celebration of the Federal High Court’s golden jubilee.