Resolving Rivers Judiciary Crisis

For sometime now the Rivers State judiciary is entangled with serious crisis which is bordering on the appointment of the Chief Judge after the retirement of Hon. Justice Iche Ndu, the former Chief Judge of the state.

The crisis in the judiciary has caused so much damage to the state. Justice suffers in Rivers as there is no sitting Chief Judge to assign cases to various courts for adjudication.

The National Judicial Council, NJC which is also at the centre of the crisis has placed suspension order on the former Acting Chief Judge of the state, Hon. Justice P.A.C Agumangu, for what it calls disrespect to the order of the Council. The judiciary crisis lingers day by day as explosion rocked Ahoada High Court on Monday.

This is the second time explosion rocked the Ahoada Court premises.

As a result of the Monday’s explosion, the judiciary officers in the state had gone on strike, alleging that their lives are no longer safe.

Just last week, the NJC has directed Justice Daisy Okocha to oversee the administration of the Rivers judiciary. The NJC took this decision in its 67th meeting, saying that Hon. Justice Agumangu has breached Section 271 of the 1999 constitution, therefore remains suspended as a judicial officer.

Without mincing words, the crisis in the judiciary has created untold hardship in the state. If the problem remains unchecked, instead of seeking justice in law courts, people will resort to jungle justice which will not be palatable in any democratic society, where rule of law exists.

It is our plea that the warring factions should sink their differences so as to ensure lasting peace in the Rivers judiciary. Judiciary is the last hope of the common man. ###

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