Rivers Assembly finally confirms Okocha as chief judge

Justice Daisy Okocha

Justice Daisy Okocha

RIVERS State House of Assembly has confirmed the appointment of Justice Daisy Okocha, as the Chief Judge of the state.
The confirmation was made at about 7p.m. on Wednesday, after an emergency sitting was convened, with only eleven lawmakers present.

The Speaker, Adams Dabatorudima, after a debate and vote by the lawmakers during the sitting announced the confirmation.

Dabatorudima explained that the development followed a letter from Governor Nyesom Wike requesting for the approval to confirm Justice Okocha as the substantive Chief Judge of the State.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has set aside the decisions of the Federal High Court, which rejected Justice Okocha’s nomination as chief judge.

The Appeal Court later granted Governor Wike the authority to approve her appointment as the Chief Judge of the state.
Lawyer to the National Judicial Council (NJC), James Mmuo, told journalists that with the judgment so far, the state assembly was entitled to confirm Justice Okocha’s appointment, while Governor Wike gives final approval.

It would be recalled that the appointment of the State Chief has resulted into a judicial crisis in the state, which led to the closure of the judicial complex for over one year.

The trouble started when the former Chief Judge of the state Justice Iche Ndu sent the names of Justice Peter Agumagu, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal and Justice Daisy Okocha as the two most senior judges in the state to the Rivers State Judicial Service Commission for their consideration and recommendation to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The NJC however, recommended Justice Okocha for appointment as the Chief Judge of Rivers State, arguing that she is the most senior judge in the High Court.

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