By Onyekachi Eze
It was a quick screening in favour of the incoming substantive Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Theresa Eberechukwu Chukwuemeka Chikeka, and the State Customary Court of Appeal President, Justice Victor Uchenna Okorie by the Imo State House of Assembly.
In an emergency plenary session held on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the House screened and eventually confirmed for a substantive position of the Imo State Chief Judge, and the Customary Court of Appeal President, respectively.
Both the newly Screened jurists had held sway under Acting capacities before now.
Following recommendations made to the National Judicial Council, NJC, by former persons who held sway in the two positions, hence the emergence of the two legal icons.
It could be recalled that for the office of the Chief Judge, two recommended successors made by Justice Paschal Nnadi while he was leaving office in 2020 were; Hon Justice Theresa Eberechukwu Chukwuemeka Chikeka, and Hon Justice Eugene Ogadinma Agada.
Similarly, following the retirement of Hon Justice M. E. Njoku, the immediate past President of the Imo State Customary Court Of Appeal on January 5, 2022, he recommended to NJC for Hon Justice Victor Uchenna Okorie, and Hon Justice Sophia Ifeoma Ogwuegbu.
After all considerations and in tandem to NJC policy and regulations, Chikeka and Okorie were shortlisted at the end of the day, although under acting level.
Sequel to the legislative processes, it may not be out of place to posit that the House acted under a letter sent by the NJC to the State Governor, who sought for Assembly confirmation of the two judges.
Interestingly at the Chambers, the two Judges were asked to take a bow as having been duly confirmed.
For Justice Chikeka, the member for Oru East State Constituency and Chief Whip of the House, Hon Chigozie Nwaneri cited her intimidating credentials and enviable Judicial Service to the State.
Same was applicable to Justice Okorie who was also told to take a bow as a fully confirmed President of the Customary Court of Appeal.
Speaker Kennedy Ibeh therefore urged the Clerk to make available clean copies to be transmitted to the Governor, Hope Uzodimma for onward Executive actions.