Governor David Umahi on Monday in Abakaliki swore-in the Ebonyi State new Acting Chief Judge, Anselm Nwaigwe, who replaced the retired former Chief Judge, Alloy Nwankwo.
Mr Umahi, who performed the ceremony in the presence of top government functionaries, leaders and stakeholders of the Ezza-clan where Mr Nwaige hails from, commended the peaceful transition to the new occupier of the office.
The governor commended the former chief judge for “giving birth’’ to a successor without bitterness, rancour or fighting as obtained in other places.
“There is a unique unity in the land of Ebonyi and judges in the state are also unique and are guided in all judicial functions by the fear of God.
“We don’t have much advice to offer you but if you cannot surpass the record of the former chief judge, try and maintain it.
“I know you have learnt much from the former chief judge being close to him,” he said.
He said the National Judicial Council (NJC) will soon communicate to the government on Mr Nwaigwe’s confirmation as the state’s substantial chief judge.
“We will then communicate appropriately to the House of Assembly which in its uniqueness does not delay its proceedings.
“We are hopeful to gather again soon to remove the acting from your position,” he said.
He thanked the leaders and stakeholders from the Ezza clan and promised that all indigenes who would be displaced as result of the state’s international airport in the area, would be adequately resettled and compensated.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Cletus Ofoke, noted that Section 271. Sub Section 4 of the 1999 constitution as amended stipulates that the position of the chief judge must be occupied in the absence of the previous occupier.
“This ceremony is remarkable because it was devoid of succession internal politics and rancour that is obtained in other states,” he said.
Mr Nwaigwe, in his reaction, thanked the government and the entire judicial community for the confidence reposed in him and promised not to disappoint them.
The Chairman of Ebonyi Traditional Rulers Council, Charles Mkpuma, thanked the governor for appointing an Ezza indigene into his administration and promised that there would be no resistance to the siting of the airport project in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Umahi afterwards swore-in 15 additional Senior Special Assistants (SSA) and Senior Assistants (SA) into his cabinet.