As one of the ten States benefitting from the 25 Million Euro project funded by the European Union in support of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Judiciary, the Benue State Judiciary has developed an action plan in collaboration with other stakeholders and commenced its implementation with the support of the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The other State judiciaries benefiting from the project are Anambra, Borno, Delta, Enugu, Kaduna, Katsina, Lagos and Rivers State as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
The action plan which was adopted by the Benue State Judiciary Integrity Meeting focuses on enhancing access to justice; improving timeliness and quality of justice delivery; strengthening the integrity, accountability, transparency, independence and impartiality of the court system and coordination across the justice sector.
Recently a team, comprising staffs from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Union (EU), the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the National Planning Commission (NPC) visited Benue State to assess the progress made in the implementation of the Benue State Action Plan on Justice Sector Reform 2007-2010.
The Senior Project Coordinator of the project Mr. Oliver Stolpe, Mr. Stolpe called on the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive to make provisions for and support the development and implementation of a new action plan in 2011. He suggested that action planning for justice sector reform should become a permanent feature of the state’s annual budget and could serve as a model for other public sector agencies both within and beyond Benue State.
The Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Terseer Tsumba welcomed the monitoring team and commended the EU and UNODC for their role in the development and strengthening of governance and access to justice in Benue State. He assured the team of the Benue State House of Assembly’s commitment and support to the judiciary particularly as it relates to budgetary allocations to strengthen judicial capacity and efficiency.