By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Uneasy calm now pervades Imo State Judiciary, following the inability of the state government to pay salaries of workers in the last three months.
A female staff of the judiciary, who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, yesterday, confirmed that staff of judiciary had been thrown into dire financial straits in the last three months.
“Honestly, we have been thrown into a financial mess in the last three months. A lot of us are now owing various sums of money to creditors,” she lamented.
While reminding Governor Rochas Okorocha how funny it sounded to ask people he was currently owing to administer the oath of office on him, the lady also expressed regrets that no new high court judge had been appointed in the state since 2011.
“There are only five serving judges in the Customary Court of Appeal, CCA, instead of about seven.
‘’In the same manner, there are only about 12 judges sitting in he State High Court instead of about 30 prescribed by law,” the woman said.
She recalled that the money Governor Okorocha promised to pay the serving judges to take care of seminars, conferences, workshops, hospital bills and vacation allowance had remained largely unpaid.
“While the governor made this promise in 2011, he only paid a fraction for 2014.
‘’As at the time of this interview, he has not completed payment for 2014 and 2015 has almost gone midway,” the woman said.
Another staff of the judiciary, who also pleaded anonymity for fear of victimization, lamented that no single capital project had been executed in the Customary Court of Appeal in the last four years.
“Construction of CCA court hall started by the former governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has not been completed,” the staff said.