Imo CJ calls for appointment of more judges

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Imo Chief Judge, Justice Paschal Nnadi, has called for the appointment of more judges and magistrates into the state judiciary in order to lessen work load of judiciary officers.

Nnadi said that cases pending at the state high court were 36,159, as at Sept.30, 2016.

He spoke in Owerri at a special court assizes of the state judiciary, in commemoration of the 2016/2017 Legal Year.

Nnadi added that 23,192 cases were filed between Oct.1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016, while 853 cases were disposed of within the same period.

The chief judge urged legal practitioners to utilize the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism in the new Imo High Court Civil Procedure, for efficient and expeditious disposal of cases.

Nnadi urged the Legal Aid Council to take up cases of some inmates who had stayed for longer period in custody.

Imo Governor, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, who spoke, commended judges for the way they have carried out their duties and called for strict scrutiny of membership of the judiciary.

He urged the judiciary to complement the efforts of the executive to ensure good governance.

Okorocha debunked allegations of sack of 1,100 workers in the state civil service.

He however said that he would not spare any worker found wanting and called for discipline among workers.

Mr. Milletus Nlemedim, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, who spoke, said more judicial workers would be appointed within the year in order to boost justice delivery.

He also said that the state government had set up a Law Revision Committee to review and update laws in conjunction with the House of Assembly.

Mr. Lawrence Nwakaeti, Imo Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, who also spoke, condemned the interference of the executive arm of government in judicial processes.

He recalled the invasion of the homes of judicial officers by the Department of State Service in 2016, describing it as a sacrilege.

Nwakaeti advised the executive to leave the discipline of judges to the National Judicial Council.

He said the judiciary must stand up in defence of its independence and resist every action of the executive aimed at reducing its independence.

Nwakaeti also accused Imo Government of sacking over 1,100 employees of the local government councils.

The highpoint of the event was the unveiling of the new High Court Rules by Gov. Okorocha.

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