The Governor of Abia State Dr Okezie Ikpeazu today failed to Appoint and Inaugurate Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe as the Acting Chief Judge of Abia State.
The Development has now created a vacuum in the administration of Justice in Abia as the state currently do not have a Chief Judge.
The National Judicial Council had on Wednesday January 31 2018 pursuant to Sec 271 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recommended the appointment of Justice Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe as the acting Chief Judge of Abia State following the decision of the Council asking the Chief Judge of Abia State Justice Theresa Uzoamaka Uzokwe to step aside and the subsequent Suspension of Justice Obisike Orji who was inaugurated as acting Chief Judge by Dr Okezie Ikpeazu on Friday 26th January 2018.
“In the prevailing circumstance, whereby the NJC has directed the chief judge not to perform his duties, and the next most senior judge is suspended, the Governor of Abia State shall appoint Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe, the next most senior Judge to act as the Chief Judge of Abia State, pending council’s final resolution of the matter.” The NJC Said.
But Information available to PUO REPORTS has indicated that the Abia State Government may be heading to Court to Challenge the decision of the National Judicial Council .
A Top Member of the Abia State Executive Council who spoke to our Correspondent on Condition of anonymity due to the delicate nature of the Case argued that the NJC lacks powers to declare a Governor’s appointment unconstitutional as it purported to do; neither is there any authority in it conferred by the Constitution, to threaten Judges not to accept such appointment from the State Chief Executive.
“If the Governor acted outside the constitutional powers granted him, it is not the NJC that has power to so declare, but a competent court”.
Efforts to get the reactions of the Abia State Commissioner For Information Mr John Okiyi Kalu proved abortive as he did not attend nor return calls made on his Telephone Number.
The Governor it was learnt has asked his Media Assistants not to make any Public Comment on the Issue