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 Human Rights advocacy group, the
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has condemned the suspension
of Uzokwe by the state House of Assembly.

It
equally flayed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s replacement of Justice Uzokwe with
Justice Obisike Orji as the acting chief judge of the state.
In
a statement made available to journalists on Sunday by its Deputy Director,
Adewale Timothy, SERAP argued that Justice Uzokwe’s removal violated Sections
292(1)(a)(ii) and 21(d) Part 11 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
It
said, “It amounts to a blatant attack on the integrity and independence of the
judiciary. No judge, anywhere in Nigeria, can be removed without the
involvement of the National Judicial Council, no matter the level of
allegations of misconduct against that judge.
“Governor
Ikpeazu must rescind his illegal appointment of a new chief judge, and the Abia
State House of Assembly must withdraw the apparently politically-motivated
suspension of Justice Uzokwe without further delay. Doing so will be entirely
consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of
Raliat Elelu-Habeed & anor v Attorney General of the Federation and
Attorney General of Kwara State (2012).”
Meanwhile,
Judiciary workers, under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, on Sunday
frowned at the suspension of the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Theresa
Uzokwe, by the Abia State House of Assembly.
Justice
Uzokwe was reportedly removed on Friday as the Abia State chief judge by the
lawmakers, who reportedly adopted the report of an eight-man ad hoc committee.
The committee indicted the judge for misconduct.
They
directed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to appoint an acting Chief Judge pending the
completion of investigation by its committee into alleged acts of misconduct by
Justice Uzokwe.

The
governor had subsequently appointed Justice Obisike Orji as the acting chief
judge of the state.

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