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Legal Activist Queries Suspension of  Abia State Chief Judge

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Babatunde Abiodun 

The suspension of Chief Judge of Abia State,  Justice Theresa Uzokwe by the state House of Assembly has been described as improper and connivance to victimise her.

A constitutional lawyer,  Ms. Carol Ajie, in response to the development on Saturday,   said the whole suspension process was shrewd in secrecy as the CJ is yet to received a copy of the referenced petition dated 22nd Jan 2018.

” Shouldn’t she be served so we could look at it and respond to it?”, said Ajie who in her petition accused the Speaker  of the state assembly of conniving with the Attorney General of the State to hoard iinformation.

” They cite section 292(1)(ii) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Look, the State AG with intent to calumniate CJ’s office, trampled on her roles and responsibilities as Hon. CJ to the extent some of her official duties were corroded.

“Otherwise she is efficient, performs her administrative duties efficaciously. They contradict themselves in terms; Allegans contraria non est audiendus.

” From the briefs we have received, this problem begun brewing prior to and after the appointment of Hon Justice Theresa Uzokwe as the Chief Judge of Abia State. She is an indigene of Anambra, not from Abia and they don’t like that. She is the Chair Abia State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) by virtue of her office, the Attorney General of the State Chief Kalu Umeh SAN set up a parallel JSC that purported to terminate the appointment of the Chief Registrar (CR) of the High Court of Abia State, Elizabeth  Akwiwu-Chukwu Esq (Ms) and Umeh and his JSC appointed another Mr Ben Anyanwu. The CJ and her CR protested against all of the flagrant disrespect to the office of the CJ,” she said.

Ajie further argued that  posting of Magistrates from one jurisdiction to another within the state by CJ was resisted and unlawfully countermanded by AG on State Television on the ‘authority’ of his parallel JSC in Nov- Dec 2017. CR Elizabeth confronted AG Umeh that he lacks the legal backing to countermand Hon. CJ through Abia state media tool on TV.

She said attacks on the finances of Abia State Judiciary; AG Umeh’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) wrote to Zenith Bank Plc to change the signatories of Abia State Judiciary account from CR Elizabeth to illegally appointed CR Ben.

“Again Her Lordship objected on grounds that AG is not to appoint a CR for the CJ. And now the entire Abia State executive hand-in-glove with the Abia State House of Assembly staged that atrocious act of “suspension”?.

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