By Oginyi Nkechinyere
Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi on Monday swore in Justice Anselem Nwigwe of the state High Court as the new Acting Chief Judge for the State.
Justice Nwigwe takes over from Justice Alloy Nwankwo who retired last week after attaining a statutory retirement age of 65 years. It is the first chief judge Governor Umahi is swearing in his administration.
The Acting Chief Judge is said to be the most senior Judge in the state judiciary leading to his appointment.
His swearing-in was witnessed by Justice Obi Elechi of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judges of Enugu and Bayelsa states, other judges and members of the bench and bar in the state.
Addressing the Acting Chief Judge at Exco chambers, government House Abakaliki after the swearing-in, Governor David Umahi urged him to work harder and surpass the achievements of his predecessor, Justice Alloy Nwankwo.
He congratulated Nwigwe for the appointment and prayed God to strengthen him to discharge his duties diligently
Umahi said, “The NJC very soon will write us and then we will be able to forward to the House of Assembly. So, very soon we will gather again to remove the Acting.”
In his acceptance speech, Justice Nwigwe promised to use instrument of the law to lift the state judiciary.
Nwigwe said, “The relationship between the Bar and the Bench shall be maintained. Our hands of fellowship shall equally be extended to the members of the criminal justice system such as the police, prison authorities, the ministry of the justice and the Bar to conform to the synergy required for our success.”
Earlier in a remark, the Attorney General of the state and commissioner for Justice, Barr. Cletus Ofoke noted that section 271 (4) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended, empowers the Governor to appoint new Chief Judge in the absence of a substantive Chief Judge of the state.
He challenged the acting Chief Judge to use his office to bring more hope to the common man who relies on judiciary for Justice.