THE EDUCATOR - February 3

WHY ABIA CHIEF JUDGE WAS SUSPENDED  

The Abia State House of Assembly has disclosed the reasons behind the recent suspension of the state Chief Judge.

The Deputy Speaker and Chairman, Information, Media & Publicity of the house, Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe in a statement said the house act to stop the loggerheads in Abia Judiciary which already heading to bridge peace and progress.


The Deputy Speaker said they were guided by the constitutional responsibility bestowed on them by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria citing section 292 before arriving at their decision.

The statements reads;    

“We have read varying reactions to our timely suspension of the Chief Judge of Abia State Hon. Justice Theresa Uzokwe. While we respect all shades of opinion, we want members of the public and particularly Abians to know that while arriving at that decision, we were minded strictly by the constitutional responsibility bestowed on us by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended) to serve as an "Ombudsman" overseeing all other arms of government and indeed the need to invoke Section 292 to dismantle ill feelings capable of stagnating progress of our dear State.

“Perhaps not many knew that most arms of Abia Judiciary including but not limited to the Judicial Service Commisision have been plunged into a comatose owing to several unresolved issues which root is mindless battle of supremacy and reckless abandonment to resolutions of the 6th House. Whereas this might serve as normal in the cause is administering justice, we viewed it as an embarrassing anomaly capable of either slowing down the administration of justice or truncating it entirely to the disadvantage of everybody.

“It is trite law of fair hearing that no one can be a JUDGE in his own case. It is therefore fair that our written address to the Governor took particular consideration that the weight of allegations against the Chief Judge may have amounted to an academic contempt outside the face of the court. In reality, justice may still be denied if the Chief Judge, the Centre of these allegations is allowed to superintend these cases. We were minded by the plight of the very members of the public, those in various prisons and those who would daily be affected by these altercations to the expense of their right to credible justice. We would not have watched while the Judiciary, the last of hope of the common man is jettisoned in the altar of egocentrism.

“Fair enough, the National Judicial Council (NJC) in its recent decision on this matter has further given credence to our disposition by allowing the suspension of the Chief Judge to stay. We are aware that adjudication largely brings justice to the parties but may not guarantee peace. Our decision was largely to sue for peace while we allow other arms of government to enjoy latitude of thought in performing their constitutional responsibilities.

“It is also important to state that as a responsible legislature, Abia House of Assembly will continue to perform its statutory primary responsibility of making laws and the adjunct of overseeing other arms of government without let or hindrance. We will countinue to give direction for unalloyed synergy that would strike a balance between justice and peace no matter whose OX is gored”.