Controversies precede exit of Rivers CJ


Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike swearing-in the State Chief Judge, Justice Daisy Okocha at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt
Barely two weeks after being sworn in as the substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Daisy Okocha will be retiring from Service Friday, 15 January, 2016.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike had sworn in Justice Okocha as substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State on 4 January, 2016.
However, Justice Okocha’s retirement from service 10 days after she was sworn in as the state CJ seems to be raising some dust among some lawyers in Rivers State.
Some are of the view that a Chief Judge can be sworn in a day to her retirement from service, while others are querying the justification for such exercise.
Chris Itamunola, a lawyer and Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Inter-Pilitical Party Affairs said there is nothing wrong in law for a CJ to be sworn in even if she retires the next day.
However, Ezemuonye Ezekiel Amadi sees abnormalities in such an exercise a few days to bowing out of the service.
He dragged Governor Wike, National Judicial Council, NJC, to the Supreme Court over Justice Okocha’s swearing in as substantive Chief Judge when his case challenging her appointment by NJC as CJ was pending in the Court of Appeal.
There also some who are of the view that the retirement of Justice Okocha may leave a lacuna in Rivers State since the Rivers State House of Assembly cannot perform any legislative duty to screen and confirm any Acting Chief Judge because after Election petition cases sacked most of the Rivers lawmakers, the remaining lawmakers whose mandates were not nullified can no longer form a quorum. Besides, they had adjourned sitting until March.
Others are of the View that Governor Wike has the …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper