The Governor of Rivers State, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi, has sworn in Mr. Nwoke Agumagu, as the new Chief Judge of Rivers State.
Agumagu’s swearing in followed the judgment of the Federal High Court in Rivers State on Tuesday, a statement on Wednesday said.
At a brief swearing-in ceremony in Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday night, the new Chief Judge took the oath of office in the presence of the state governor.
In his charge to the new state Chief Judge, Amaechi urged him to be dedicated in the official discharge of his responsibilities.
Recalling that he was sworn in after series of legal battles, Amaechi however appealed to him to see beyond the contest and be fair and treat everybody equally.
He said, “My Lord, let me congratulate you on this your appointment. The actual phrase would be at ‘at last’ and to say that I was a bit worried with the way people in the judiciary fought over who would be the Chief Judge of the State. I was more than worried when there was an attempt to take away the power of the governor to appoint a Chief Judge and rest it somewhere else and I was wondering if there was no need to ask for the interpretation of the constitution.
“Today, we recognise and accept in total the judgment of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.nDon’t forget that in every office in Nigeria, virtually every office in Nigeria, not even a bishop is appointed without a contest. So, I hope that you would see what happened as a mere contest and treat everybody equally and be fair and ensure that you remain as dedicated as you have always been.”
The State new Chief Judge in an interview with journalists, after his swearing-in, pledged to ensure that justice delivery would be given its pride of place.
“My agenda for the judiciary is to see a better judiciary, to make sure that justice delivery is given the pride of place and also to make sure that all staff of the judiciary get the best during my tenure,” he said.
Before his appointment as the State new Chief Judge, Justice Agumagu was the first ever President of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal.