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I complied with NJC directive to swear in Justice Ogwe as Abia Acting CJ, says Ikpeazu


Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu

• Oji, a victim of circumstance, says attorney-general
• Urges Council to temper justice with mercy

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said that he swore in Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe as the state Acting Chief Judge in place of Justice Obisike Oji on the directive of the National Judiciary Council (NJC).

This, according to him, was just as he did in the case of Justice Oji on the resolution of the state House of Assembly informing him to suspend the substantive Justice Theresa Uzokwe to enable the House investigate allegations levelled against her (Uzokwe).

Ikpeazu stated this yesterday while swearing in Justice Ogwe as the new Abia State Acting Chief Judge.

The governor, who described Justice Ogwe as capable, urged him to quickly stabilise the state justice delivery to enable the state have a breath of fresh air under his leadership.

The NJC had declared the appointment of Justice Oji to act as the state CJ without its input as unconstitutional, directing that the said Justice Oji be suspended and Justice Ogwe, who is the most senior judge after Justice Oji be sworn into the office.

Justice Ogwe, in his remark, commended the governor for accepting the NJC directive.

He said: “I am already a judge. My call now is to lead my fellow judges and I will do so and not disappoint the state.”

Also, the state Attorney- General and Justice Commissioner, Chief Umeh Kalu (SAN), who spoke with reporters and read out a three-page statement titled “Impasse in the leadership of the Abia State Judiciary – Abia State Government Position”, said the governor complied with the House resolution to swear in Oji as the acting CJ.

Kalu, who stated that while the NJC might not be a court of law, the Abia State government is not unmindful of the constituents of that revered Assembly of our eminent and most knowledgeable in our laws and its interpretation, said: “We lend our voice to the NJC to consider all the circumstances leading to the swearing-in ceremony and temper justice with mercy. Justice Obisike Oji is a victim of circumstance.”

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