Published On: Thu, Mar 27th, 2014

NJC suspends new Rivers State Chief Judge

The National Judicial Council, NJC, has suspended the newly appointed Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Peter Agumagu.

NJC took the decision in Abuja after an emergency meeting held on the developments in the Rivers State Judiciary.

The NJC accused Justice Agumagu of disregarding the council by accepting the appointment of Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

The Council also said Justice Agumagu pretended to be unaware of the provisions in the 1999 Constitution as Amended with regard to the appointment of a Chief Judge.

Meanwhile, reacting to the latest development, one of the legal representatives of the Rivers State Government, Emenike Ebete said he NJC does not have the powers to suspend the Chief Judge of any state.

While affirming the appointment of Justice Agumagu, Ebete maintained that the Federal High Court judgement that nullified the recommendation of the NJC is competent.

He further inclined to the fact that the powers of the NJC was put to rest by the court judgment, adding that the decision of the NJC is purely administrative and the rule of law is not bound by the decision.

Barrister Emenike Ebete who is popular for his role in the release of the embattled Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, suggested that the NJC should rather make moves to appeal the High court judgement at the Court of Appeal rather than trying to frustrate the powers of Justice Agumagu.

He maintained that the process leading to the subsequent appointment of the of the Chief Judge was constitutional.

DailyPost recalls that a Federal High court in Port Harcourt nullified recommendation of the National Judicial Council, appointing Justice Daisy Okocha as the Chief Judge of Rivers State.

The presiding Judge, Justice Lambo Akanbi had in his judgement said the state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi was not bound and cannot be compelled to swear-in the individual recommended by the NJC.

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