Edo State Judiciary yesterday launched the family country to supervise matters relating to children in both civil and criminal matters.
The inaugural of the court celebrated the beginning of the implementation of the Edo State Child Rights Bill, which was passed into law in 2007 and was approved by former Governor Oserhiemen Osunbor.
The court is constituted by a sitting judge or magistrate and two assessors who are to be sworn-in by the Chief Judge of the state.
In his speech, the outgoing Chief Judge of the State, Honourable Justice Cromwell Idahosa, said the Edo State Child Rights Bill, which was passed into law in 2007, extensively caters for the interest and rights of the child.
Idahosa added that the Family Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to handle all matters pertaining to children in both civil and criminal matters.
“With the inauguration of this Court, there shall now be speedy trials in matters relating to children’s welfare and protection, specifically from undue exposure and exploitation. The Court will strive to provide families with the best possible outcome in child rights cases in accordance with the law and best global practices.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the state branch of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Barrister Ede Asenoguan, said the inauguration of the Family Court will place the state amongst the few states in the country that have established the family court to cater for the rights of children as envisaged by the Child Rights Law of Edo State 2007.
“We are happy that today, our collective dream of caring for the rights of our children has been given a boost by this inauguration today. Certainly, our children are vulnerable and violated. They sure deserve better and I believe that no effort should be spared in ensuring that the rights of children are protected and enforced whenever or wherever same is breached or violated,” he said.
The state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu, said if Nigeria could implement the family court, it will go a long way to address some of the challenges facing families.
He assured that the state government will support the judiciary, especially as the 2017 appropriation bill provides for the infrastructural development of the courts, adding that the government will provide more courts as well as improve on the welfare of judges and judicial workers.