Manpower capacity building of judicial officers at the lower bench has been emphasized as paramount to the realisation of the constitutional responsibilities of the judiciary.

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Honourable Justice Theresa Diai reiterated this point in a keynote address at a one day training seminar for chairmen of Area and District Customary Courts in Delta State in Asaba, today.

Declaring the seminar open, Justice Diai underscored the importance of staff training and retraining, pointing out that it equipped the work force with the necessary information and technical knowhow.

"It is in realisation of its policy of human capital and manpower development that this training is being organized. The importance of staff training and retraining cannot be emphasized. It equips the work force with the necessary information, technical knowhow and specialized knowledge which will enhance the overall performance of their duties. The aim is to assist them attain optimal performance for improved output." Justice Diai observed.

The number one Judicial Officer in the State noted that the theme of the seminar: "Practice and Procedure in Area/District Customary Court in Delta State" would delve into many aspects including, civil and criminal jurisdiction of Area and Customary Courts in Delta State, adjudication on title deeds and land matters, custody and inheritance under customary law.

While commending the management of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal for assembling array of eminently qualified jurists as resource persons, she charged participants to take every aspect of the seminar seriously if they wanted to excel as judicial officers. 

Justice Diai stressed the imperative of District and Area Customary Courts to strive to promote justice, equity and fairness in their conduct as judicial officers with dignity of the office. 

Welcoming guests and participants, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Honourable Justice Patience Olumeze stated that the seminar was as important as oxygen to life in that without training, efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of duties in the lower courts, justice may become elusive in the chain of administration of justice.

In his paper presentation on the theme: "Practice and Procedure in Area/District Customary Court in Delta State", Justice Samuel Tonwhe (rtd) highlighted the importance of jurisdiction in the adjudication of matters by Customary courts, stressing that if a court lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine a case or matter, its decision was null and void no matter how well the proceedings were conducted. 

Justice Tonwhe therefore admonished chairmen of Area and District Customary Courts to take issue of jurisdiction very seriously when presiding over matters.

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