Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State on Monday swore in Justice Onuoha Kalu Ogwe as the Acting Chief Judge of the state.
The governor acted in compliance with the National Judicial Council’s (NJC) directive on the crisis in the judiciary.
Ogwe replaces Justice Obisike Orji, who was appointed to the post on Monday following the suspension of Justice Theresa Uzokwe as Chief Judge by the Abia State House of Assembly.
The NJC however, rejected the action of the state’s legislature and the subsequent appointment of Orji by the governor.
The council consequently suspended Orji and directed the Abia Government to immediately swear in Ogwe as the acting chief judge.
In a brief remark at the swearing-in at the Government House, Umuahia, the governor said that the government was acting in compliance with the NJC’s directive.
Ikpeazu said, “our desire is to stabilise the judicial system of the state and in doing so, this state is determined to abide by the directive of the NJC.”
Ikpeazu admonished the acting chief judge to collaborate with his administration in its efforts to stabilise the state judiciary “for the common good of the people of the state”.
Ogwe expressed gratitude to the governor for his humility in accepting the NJC’s directive.
He said, “you have acquitted yourself as a man.
“I am already a judge and what I have been asked to do is to provide leadership for my brothers.”
Earlier at a news briefing, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Chief Umeh Kalu, said the state government, having received the position of NJC “is committed to the rule of law and will abide by the directive”.