Rivers backs CJ de­spite sus­pen­sion by NJC

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Vic­tor Edozie, Port Har­court

The Rivers State govern­ment said yes­ter­day Jus­tice Peter Agu­magu re­mains the state’s chief judge de­spite his re­cent sus­pen­sion by the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Coun­cil. Agu­magu was last week sus­pended as a ju­di­cial of­fi­cer by the NJC and was given four days to ex­plain why he should not be com­pletely re­moved.

The state Com­mis­sioner for Jus­tice, Nworgu Boms, who spoke to news­men in Port Har­court yes­ter­day de­scribed the sus­pen­sion as il­le­gal and un­con­sti­tu­tional, main­tain­ing that Jus­tice Agu­magu re­mains the sub­stan­tive chief judge of the state.

“The po­si­tion of the NJC which is very un­for­tu­nate, gives equally un­for­tu­nate and mis­lead­ing im­pres­sion to the pub­lic that the ap­point­ment of Jus­tice PNC Agu­magu as chief judge of Rivers State oc­curred from the skies and with no con­tri­bu­tion of the NJC to it or that there is no his­tory be­hind it. Jus­tice PNC Agu­magu, the NJC wants the world to be­lieve, just woke up, walked to the State House and got ap­pointed and sworn in as the chief judge. This im­pres­sion is mis­lead­ing, self-serv­ing and di­ver­sion­ary.”

“It is im­por­tant to state from the out­set that the NJC has al­ways pre­ferred the doc­trine of the most se­nior judge of the High Court in the ap­point­ment of the chief judge of Rivers State and in par­tic­u­lar, Jus­tice D.W. Okocha, as its can­di­date for the po­si­tion. In its sin­gle-minded pur­suit of the ac­tu­al­i­sa­tion of this doc­trine and pref­er­ence, it enun­ci­ated fur­ther the doc­trine that only a judge of the state High Court is qual­i­fied for con­sid­er­a­tion for the of­fice and that Jus­tice Agu­magu, then Pres­i­dent of the state’s Cus­tom­ary Court of Ap­peal, could not be al­lowed to cross over to be­come the state chief judge”, the com­mis­sioner said.

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