Newly appointed Justices of the Peace, JPs, in Delta state have been told to be fair and firm in their actions and decisions, bearing in mind that they will certainly be put to test.

The State Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Diai, gave the charge today in Asaba at the swearing-in of the JPs.

Justice Diai, who was represented by Justice Godwin Briki – Okolosi, said the appointment of the JPs, which was necessitated by the need to take justice closer to the people, was approved by the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, pursuant to the provision of section 12 (1) of the Magistrates’ Court Law, after the appointees had undergone a rigorous screening process and were found suitable for appointment.

The CJ urged the new JPs to put in their best and live above board in the exercise of their powers, just as she warned that any of them found wanting would be shown the way out.

She listed the powers and functions of the JPs to include, preservation of peace, suppression of riots and ensuring orderliness in the society, adding that they had the powers to direct postmortem examination under section 12 of the Corona Law, issue summonses and warrants for the purposes of compelling the attendance of accused persons or witnesses to court, as well as issue search warrants, among others.

Responding on behalf of others, one of the new JPs and State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for approving their appointment and the state judiciary for giving effect to their elevation to the elite class.

Aniagwu promised that they would work closely with the judiciary to ensure fairness, justice, equity and peace in the state, even as he assured the state government that they would not use their new status as JPs to undermine peace nor oppress the anyone.

In separate interviews with newsmen after subscribing to the relevant oaths, some of the new JPs, including the Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr Bryon Unini; the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North senatorial district chapter, Elder Moses Iduh and the immediate past State Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Innocent Ofuonyeadi; thanked Governor Okowa and the State Chief Judge for the honour done them and promised to diligently exercise their powers and discharge their duties without fear or favour in the overall interest of the state.

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