A substantive Chief Judge would soon be appointed for Abia State. This was made known by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Umeh Kalu in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia.
Kalu disclosed that nominees have been forwarded to the National Judicial Commission (NJC), stressing that the state government was not responsible for the situation as there are laid down rules of which the NJC plays an integral part.
Recall that the appointment of a substantive Chief Judge for the state has continued to generate controversy since the retirement of the former of Chief Judge, Justice Sunday Imo, on Decmber, 2010.
The NJC had recommended Justice Ijeoma Offonry to replace Justice Imo, according to the tradition where appointment to the position is on the basis of seniority.
However, the Abia State of House of Assembly failed to confirm Justice Offonry for reasons it is yet to make public.
The situation brought the state government on war path with the Aba branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) who insisted that Justice Offonry be confirmed as the Chief Judge of the state.
In the ensuing confusion, the state has had series of Acting Chief Judges with Justices Offonry, Theresa Uzokwe and the incumbent, Justice Shedrack Nwanosike, mounting the position.
247Ureports.com gathered that the inability of the state Assembly to confirm could be traced to politics. Informed Sources revealed within the Abia Judiciary described Justice Offonry as ‘nonsense judicial officer’ who cannot be compromised. “The government will find it difficult to work with her,” the source hinted.
The Aba branch of the NBA berated the state legislature for not inviting Justice Offonry who was recommended by the NJC, look at her credentials top know if she was qualified for the position.
In an interview with newsmen on the position of the Aba Bar, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu said it is not the role of the Bar Association to prescribe for the House the mode of screening. According to him, the House did what it was suppose to do on the matter.
Sources within the Aba NBA blamed the situation on the wrong advice given to the state governor by the Attorney General and other lawyers working for the government.and accused them of having a game plan.