Judge Koeget lays down the law

RESIDENT National Court Judge of the Gulf and Western provinces’ Danajo Koeget had one simple message for the people of rural Gulf on his National Court Circuit there this week.

Police, peace officers, village court magistrates and local leaders were told in no uncertain terms to commit to the dispensation of justice right down to the village level.

“I will serve you without fear or favor. I will do my part and you must also do your part,” Justice Koeget said after having recently been appointed as resident judge to the two provinces of the Papuan region.

Justice Koeget’s comments come in light of the imminent development issues that may arise with resource developments especially in the area. “Development apart from the benefits will also have its disadvantages and there will be instances where parties will not agree with each other but prefer to have matters dealt with by the courts.

The message was echoed in Baimuru and Kikori on Saturday and Monday respectively by the judge while on an assessment tour of the Gulf province.

The judge’s sentiments were enforced by the large amount of pending bench warrants especially from the Ihu, Baimuru and Kikori areas.

“Community leaders and members of the public must help to report to police the whereabouts of these individuals so those who abscond bail, have pending bench warrants and break the law at large face appropriate punishment,” Justice Koeget told public servants and village court officials in Kikori station on Monday.

He was also mindful of abuses and cautioned law enforcement officers to uphold the Constitution.

“Policemen, you are protectors of the Constitution. Everyone arrested has rights and these rights should be observed instead of the use of heavy handed tactics,” he said.

“This is not justice. Ensure that the person is apprehended according to law.“

He encouraged the police to protect the rights of every individual. He said the same will go for Correctional Service officers and also did apply to the Defence Force at times of internal aggression, “Kikori will require total commitment and dedication for you to deliver justice to our people,” he said.

The judge was on a provincial tour to inspect and ascertain the status of law and justice sector facilities on the ground in the rural areas of Gulf with a view to decentralize national Court Hearings to the districts.

The inspection covered judge and court staff accommodation, court buildings and infrastructure and security.

Justice Koeget met with stakeholders of the law and justice sector and public servants in the districts.

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