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RIVERS: Assembly confirms Justice Amadi as Chief Judge

THE State House of Assembly has confirmed Justice Simeon Amadi as the substantive Chief Judge of the state.

The confirmation followed a letter from Governor Nyesom Wike to the House seeking Amadi’s confirmation and approval as the next CJ, following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

The nomination of Justice Amadi, a third-ranking judge in the Rivers State High Court has, however, was greeted by criticisms from interest groups who accused Governor Wike of influencing his recommendation by the NJC based on ethnic sentiment.

The governor has, however, denied the allegation, stressing that the appointment of a substantive chief judge of a state was not done on hierarchical order, but on criteria to be considered by the nation’s judicial body.

He stated this two days ago when a group of lawyers from the Ikwerre ethnic group paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

The letter sent by the governor to the House Speaker, Ikwuinyi Owaji-Ibani, noted that the current CJ, Justice Adama Iyaye Laminkara, would retire from active service on May 25, necessitating the immediate appointment of another CJ in order not to allow a vacuum in the system.

Part of the letter reads, “The NJC has recommended Simeon C. Amadi for appointment as Chief Judge of Rivers State following the imminent retirement of the incumbent CJ, Justice A. I. Laminkara, from service on May 25, 2021.

“I have considered NJC’s recommendation, as well as qualification, character and service experience of Justice Amadi and found him proper and suitable to become the next Chief Judge of the state.”

The Speaker stated that the lawmakers relied on the constitution which gave the state governor the powers to follow the recommendation of the NJC in the appointment of a substantive CJ of a state.

The lawmakers only asked the CJ to take a bow and leave, with a promise to transmit his confirmation to the state governor.

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