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NJC DARES AMAECHI SUSPENDS NEW RIVERS CHIEF JUDGE

NJC DARES AMAECHI SUSPENDS NEW RIVERS CHIEF JUDGE

The last has not been heard about the mighty battle in the temple of justice between Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of River State and The National Judicial Council led by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Muktar.

It is obvious that the battle has moved from the court of law to the court of public opinion as the NJC yesterday slammed the recently appointed Chief Judge of Rivers State Justice Peter Nwoke Chukwuma Agumagu

 

Justice Agumagu who was sworn-in on March 18, 2014 following a favourablejudgment obtained by the Rivers State Government from the Federal High Court , Port Harcourt now has many rivers to cross before he eventually mounts the exalted judicial position in the state.

In a strong statement signed bySoji Oye, Esq.,(Ag. Director, Information) after it rose from its 10th Emergency Meeting on March 26, 2014, the NJC categorically declared that it will not recognize the appointment, confirmation and Swearing-in of Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu as the substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State. That is not all, it has also issued a query toHon. Justice Agumagu and suspended him as a Judicial Officer with immediate effect.

According to the statement “In the course of deliberations on the matter, Council noted as follows; That it is expressly provided in Section 271 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) that:- The Appointment of a person to the Office of the Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to the confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State;

“That the National Judicial Council did not at any time make any recommendation to the Governor of Rivers State that Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu, President, Customary Court of Appeal be appointed the substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State. Council therefore resolved as follows:-i. That the National Judicial Council does not and will not recognise Hon. Justice P.N.C. Agumagu as the Chief Judge of Rivers State.

 ii. That the general public and all concerned in the Matter, particularly the Governor of Rivers State, the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Judiciary in Rivers State, be notified and informed that the National Judicial Council will not deal with Hon. Justice P.N.C. Agumagu as the Chief Judge of Rivers State;

 

 iii. That a query be issued to Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu to explain in writing within four (4) days, why he should not be removed from office as a Judicial Officer for his failure to abide by his Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; In the meantime, Council in exercise of its Powers under Paragraph 21 (d) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution has suspended Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu from Office as a Judicial Officer with immediate effect.”

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