The Chief Judge of Enugu State, Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, has paid glowing tribute to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his administration’s commitment in the provision of critical infrastructure for the state judiciary to efficiently discharge its responsibilities in the state.
Justice Emehelu, who spoke during the swearing-in of six new judges into the state judiciary by the governor, stated that prior to the inception of Mr Ugwuanyi’s administration, “it has not been possible for the judiciary of Enugu State to get even one slot for appointment”.
Describing the swearing-in of the new judges as historic, the Enugu State chief judge stressed that it was remarkable to note that the state judiciary under the present administration, from 2016 to date, has produced 15 judges.
Ms Emehelu thanked Mr Ugwuanyi for making the feat possible, stressing that it could not have been possible if not for his administration’s massive infrastructural interventions in the state judiciary, especially in “providing all the facilities that are necessary for these appointments”.
According to her, “the committee from the National Judicial Council (NJC) came and inspected what we had on the ground and having been satisfied, gave us the green light which has culminated in the exercise we are performing today. I want to say a big thank you to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for making it possible”.
Speaking after swearing in Martha Nkiru Aroh-Onuoha, Paul Chukwuemeka Ugwueze, Hyacinthia Urunwa Ezugwu, Juliet Uchenna Mogboh and Okey Paulinus Anike as High Court judges in Enugu State, as well as Richard Emeka Ogbodo as a judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of the state, Governor Ugwuanyi explained that the action was a sequel to his approvals to the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC), in compliance with Section 271 sub-section 2 and Section 281 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The governor, who lamented the difficulties being experienced because of the dearth of judges, pointed out that the appointment of the new Judges was “a timeous relief to the Enugu State Judiciary and the people of the state”.
Highlighting his administration’s recent major infrastructural interventions in the judiciary, Mr Ugwuanyi stated that it delivered extensively reconstructed State Judiciary Headquarters complex in Enugu, one new High Court building, eleven new Magistrate Court buildings, two new Open Registry buildings, new permanent Customary Court of Appeal Headquarters building, 34 new Model Customary Court buildings (two in each Local Government Area) as well as other essential tools and equipment, which he said “will be complemented by these appointments for more efficient administration and speedy dispensation of justice in Enugu State”.
The governor therefore congratulated the new judges on their well-deserved appointments and charged them to bring their expertise and the requisite gravitas to bear on the discharge of their new responsibilities.
Responding on behalf of other newly sworn-in judges, Ms Aroh-Onuoha, thanked God and Mr Ugwuanyi for the elevation.
She equally commended the governor for his administration’s unprecedented interventions in the judiciary, saying: “Within four years, fifteen Judges were appointed; court buildings have been massively renovated and new ones constructed.”
Ms Aroh-Onuoha went further to appreciate the State Chief Judge for her motivation and support, including others who contributed towards their accomplishment.
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