By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—THE Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Theresa Uzoamaka Uzokwe, has said that she comes to work at Umuahia from Aba because Abia State Government did not provide official residence for her and other judges in the state.
According to the Chief Judge, who spoke at Abia State’s 2016 Legal Year, the official residence the government provided for her was in a state of disrepair. She also complained that other senior judges in the state were not provided with official residences, pointing out that they also operate from their private residences.
The Chief Judge also said the state judiciary does not have enough court rooms and that the magistrate courts in the state are the worst hit. Uzokwe lamented that magistrates in the state share or rotate court rooms.
According to her, “there are seven court halls in the state judiciary headquarters in Umuahia and we have 14 magistrates of different cadres sitting regularly.”
The Chief Judge said the accommodation problem was contributing to congestion of cases in the magistrate courts and, by extension, prison congestion, pointing out that “the solution lies in building more court halls.”
She also called for urgent computerisation of the state’s court system.
In his remarks, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko-Chukwu, said the judiciary was faced with image problem, saying its reputation was being denigrated.