No going back on chief judge’s suspension — Abia Assembly – Punch Newspapers

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Ogbonnaya Ikokwu

The Deputy Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Cosmos Ndukwe, has said the House will not rescind its decision on the suspension of state’s Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe.

He insisted that the Assembly suspended Uzokwe in the interest of peace and justice in the state.

Ndukwe, who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Media and Publicity, stated that the lawmakers took the action “in line with the constitutional responsibility bestowed on them by the 1999 Constitution.”

In a statement on Saturday, the lawmaker said the judge’s suspension was in line with the principle of fair hearing that no ‘‘one can be a judge in his own case’’.

The Abia State House of Assembly, had, last week, passed a resolution, suspending Uzokwe, following a public petition brought before the House against her by a civil society organisation, Global Centre for Peace and Justice.

The National Judicial Council had declared the suspension of Uzokwe as unconstitutional.

Ndukwe, however, stressed that the lawmakers considered the weight of the allegations levelled against the chief judge, adding that it might amount to an academic exercise if she remained in office while she was being investigated.

The statement titled ‘Why we suspended Abia chief judge’ partly read, “Perhaps, not many know that most arms of the Abia judiciary, including but not limited to the state Judicial Service Commission, have been plunged into comatose owing to several unresolved issues which take root in the battle for supremacy and reckless disregard for the resolutions of the 6th House.

“Whereas, this might serve as normal in the course of administering justice, we viewed it as an embarrassing anomaly capable of either slowing down the administration of justice or truncating it entirely to the disadvantage of everybody.”

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