Abia Chief Judge’s residence renovation to cost N80 million
The renovation of official residence of Abia state’s Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, will cost the state government the sum of N80 million.
A quantity surveyor brought by the chief judge, who quantified the renovation put the cost at N80 million.
The State’s Attorney –General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Umeh Kalu, a senior advocate of Nigeria said that the state has released the sum of N30 million to the chief judge for the commencement of works on the apartment.
According to him, the Chief Judge is the one doing the renovation and she is doing it at her pace. “She appointed the contractor, brought the quantity surveyor who quantified the renovation work which came to N80 million,” he said.
The commissioner stressed that the state government acceded to chief judge’s request to renovate the building because previous acting chief justices before her did not live in the building, hence the dilapidation.
He also said before the appointment of the present chief judge, she headed the Aba judicial division and lived in her private residence, while the government still paid her monthly housing allowance.
“It is a well-known fact that all government officials, including judiciary staff of that category who live in their private residences, are always paid their housing allowance, irrespective of where they live so long as they are living outside government residence.”
“Government has never defaulted in the payment of her housing allowance, while she is living or operating from her private residence, since she was appointed into office,” the commissioner said.
Kalu however, described as “erroneous” claims by the state Chief Judge, that she had no official residence in Umuahia.
Uzokwe had in her speech at the opening of a new legal year said that she had no official residence in Umuahia and that she was operating from her private residence in Aba.
She said that her official residence in Umuahia “is dilapidated and in a state of disrepair”.