NJC Directs Most Senior Judge To Take Over As Rivers Acting CJ

Amaechi-lawThe National Judicial Council (NJC), has directed the most senior judge in the Rivers State High Court and Customary Court of Appeal to oversee the assigning of cases to judges.

This was contained in a statement by Acting Director of Information, NJC Office, Soji Oye on Tuesday.

The statement noted that the two senior judges would also perform other related administrative roles.

Oye said the NJC took the decision at its 67th meeting held on May 27 during which it deliberated on the non-appointment of a substantive or acting Chief Judge for the state.

The statement noted with concern the attendant consequences of this development on administration of justice in the state.

It further stated that NJC took the decision to correct the impression created by its earlier stand on the appointment of the chief judge.

“Suffice it to say that the law abhors a vacuum, therefore, where there is a vacuum, the law must fill it’’, the statement said.

It would be recalled that NJC on March 27, suspended Justice Peter Agumagu as the Rivers Chief Judge. He was sworn-in by Governor Rotimi Amaechi on March 18. But NJC had recommended Justice Daisy Okocha of the State High Court as the next person in line to head the Rivers Judiciary.

Agumagu, until his appointment as chief judge, which NJC said breached Section 271 of the 1999 Constitution, was a former President, Rivers Customary Court of Appeal.

Agumagu has challenged his suspension and the suit is before an Abuja Federal High Court.