The Nigerian Bar Association on Wednesday urged Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State to without delay, swear in the most senior judge in the state as the Acting Chief Judge.
NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN), made the call while reacting to the judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
The presiding judge, Justice Lambo Akanbi, while nullifying the appointment of Justice Peter Agumagu as the state Acting Chief Judge, however, refused to give consent to the plea by the plaintiffs, the Kengena Unity Forum led by Boma Goodhead and Ajenyanate Samuel that Justice Daisy Okocha of the State High Court be directed to take charge as the Acting Chief Judge.
The absence of a substantive Chief Judge, the NBA president noted, was affecting justice delivery in the state.
“The NBA appeals to the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Rotimi Ameachi to, in the interest of the litigating public, the Bar and the Bench, swear in the most senior judge in the Rivers State judiciary as the Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State without prejudice to whatever his reaction might be to the judgment, while putting in motion the machinery to appoint a substantive Chief Judge for Rivers State.
“The Nigerian Bar Association observes with great concern that since August, 2013, there has not been a Chief Judge for River State, which situation has resulted in the pilling up of cases, and consequently caused unmitigated hardship to the Bench, the Bar, and litigating public in Rivers State.
“We do not intend to dwell on the legalese and merits or demerits of the matter before the Federal High Court, but we are concerned with the orders of the Federal High Court, which we believe, not only presents the solution but will also ameliorate the hardship occasioned by the absence of the Chief Judge in Rivers State”, Wali said in a statement.