- Governor Okezie Ikpeazu expresses his hope that the new chief judge, Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe, will do his best to bring stability to the judicial system of the state
- Justice Onuoha Arisa expressed his appreciation to the governor for his new appointment
- Abia state government appeals to the National Judiciary Council (NJC) to temper justice with mercy in the case of Justice Obisike Oji
Following the directive of the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Abia state government has sworn in the most senior judge in the state, Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe, as the state acting chief judge to replace the suspended chief judge, Theresa Uzokwe.
The NJC had directed the state government to swear in the most senior judge as the acting chief judge since the former acting chief judge, Justice Obisike Orji, was dismissed for accepting the appointment from the state government.
The Nation reported that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had inaugurated Justice Oji in the place of the suspended Chief Judge, Justice Uzokwe, following the resolution of the state house of assembly that recommended her suspension.
However, the NJC faulted the action of the state government and directed that the due process should be followed by swearing in the next in rank to the suspended chief judge until investigations bordering on her suspension are concluded.
At the swearing in ceremony of the acting CJ, Governor Ikpeazu stated that there was nothing suspicious in the decision of the government except the intention to restore stability in the state's judicial system.
The governor said that he received the resolution of the state House of a Assembly on the suspension of the state chief judge which did not go down well with the NJC.
Governor Ikpeazu said: “Last week I received a resolution of Abia State House of Assembly which led to the suspension of the former Chief Judge, within the same period the NJC sat and gave directive as to what they think is the proper thing, that’s why we are here today”.
He expressed his optimism that the new acting chief judge would work hard to achieve progress in the judiciary of Abia state.
Ikpeazu urged the new acting CJ to live up to what is expected of the person in his position for the good of the state.
Justice Ogwe, in his acceptance speech, appreciated the governor for the new appointment and vowed to serve to the best of his ability.
Meanwhile Abia state government has appealed to the NJC to temper justice with mercy in the case of Justice Obisike Oji whose inauguration as acting chief judge was nullified by the council.
The state attorney general and commissioner for justice, Umeh Kalu, SAN, urged the council to consider the circumstances surrounding his appointment, saying he was a victim of circumstance.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the police had arrested a former recruit and four others for allegedly kidnapping ASP Solomon Aniefiok, the Unit Commander of Mopol 55, based in Aba, Abia state.
The kidnapping gang also collected an undisclosed ransom, before the police officer was freed. A reliable source close to the inspector-general of police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) confirmed the arrest to news men.
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