Encapsulation of a philosophy in appointment of judicial officers, the place of the cross river state judiciary in the achievement of environmental planning objectives under section 20 of the 1999 Nigeria constitution
Offiong Victor Eyo
The role of the Judiciary under Chapter II Section 20 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in ensuring environmental sustainability as provided for under the fundamental objectives and directive principle of the State policy is imperative. The implication of a wrong Judicial decision on Environmental sustainability is a major challenge facing the Cross River State today. This is despite the fact that the Cross River State Judiciary was contemplated under Section 13 of Chapter II Section 20 of the Constitution when reference was made to all organs of government and all authorities and person exercising Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers in making it mandatory for all organs of government, including the Judiciary to observe its implementation. This paper therefore examined the relevance of the Cross River State Judiciary in the exercise of its constitutional role in the protection of the environment and in the achievement of the Environmental planning objectives under Section 20 of the 1999 constitution. Recommendations was made for a deliberate policy in the recruitment of Judicial Officers with the goal of the attainment of objectives set out under the chapter II section 20 of the country’s constitution. This would entail the recruitment of Judicial Officers, Magistrate and Judges, who in addition to the requirement of Law are also trained in other discipline which will aid the sustainable protection of the Cross River State Environmental Resource and encourage sustainable development. Beginning with the next set of Judges and Magistrates to be appointed by the in-coming administration, it was also recommended that provision be made for lawyers who have cognate experience and background in environmental studies. Also, Recruitment into the State ministry of Justice should follow suit to provide needed personnel for persecution of environmental causes.