Appointment saga: NJC suspends Rivers CJ

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BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI

ABUJA – The National Judicial Council, NJC, Thursday, suspended the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice P. N. C. Agumagu from Office, directing that he should within four days, explain in writing why he should not be sacked as a Judicial Officer.

The Council which took the decision at the end of an Emergency meeting it held in Abuja, said it suspended the Rivers CJ over his failure to abide by the Oath of Office he took to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A press statement signed by the Acting Director of Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, read: “At its 10th Emergency Meeting, which was held on the 26th March, 2014, the National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Muktar, GCON considered the purported appointment, confirmation and Swearing-in of Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu as the substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State on the 18th Day of March, 2014.

“In the course of deliberations on the matter, Council noted as follows: That it is expressly provided in Section 271 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) that:-The Appointment of a person to the Office of the Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to the confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.

“That the National Judicial Council did not at any time make any recommendation to the Governor of Rivers State that Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu, President, Customary Court of Appeal be appointed the substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State.

“Council therefore resolved as follows:-That the National Judicial Council does not and will not recognise Hon. Justice P.N.C. Agumagu as the Chief Judge of Rivers State.

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