Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has approved the appointment of Honourable Justice Ijeoma Agugua as the Acting Chief Judge of the State.
Justice Agugua is currently the Administrative Judge of High Court Owerri, Imo State.
The governor appointed Justice Agugua hours after the former Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Paschal Nnadi, retired.
Justice Agugua’s swearing-in ceremony takes place today, Friday, March 13, 2020, at the Sam Mbakwe Expanded EXCO Chambers at 9:00 a.m.
Justice Agugua is a Christian and was born on May 10, 1960.
She attended Helen Kaunda Girls Secondary School, Kitwe, Zambia from 1971 to 1974, and later obtained her WASC in 1975 from Ogidi Girls Secondary School, Ogidi, Anambra State. In 1977, she obtained an HSC from Federal Government College, Port Harcourt.
She studied Law and obtained an LLB Hons in 1980 from University of Lagos, awarded a BL in 1981 after attending Nigerian Law School, Lagos. She was called to the bar in 1981.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, said of Justice Agugua: “She has had a work pedigree in the judiciary that is enviable, particularly in the area of administration since 1993 she joined the High Court after serving as Chief Magistrate.
“She is currently a member of International Bar Association (ISA) Judges Forum and National Association of Women Judges of Nigeria (NAWJN)
Justice Agugua is married with three children and loves Reading, Writing, Gardening and Travelling.”
In a related development, Governor Uzodinma has reiterated his resolve to ensure that he creates structures and policies that will promote judicial autonomy.
The governor who was a Special Guest at the valedictory session in honour of Hon. Justice Paschal Nnadi, retiring Chief Judge of Imo State on Thursday, harped on the need for independence of the judiciary.
The Governor remarked: “The independence of the Judiciary is a cardinal focus of my administration. In this regard we shall continue to support the existing structure and policies which promote judicial autonomy.
“We shall continue to encourage the domestication and updating of statutes aimed at strengthening and fast-tracking justice delivery in the state.”
Governor Uzodinma acknowledged that under the watch of the retiring Chief Judge, Imo Judiciary dispensed Justice with neither fear nor favour; thus, upheld the maxim that the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man. The governor who said that Justice Nnadi is still full of energy despite his retirement proceeded to appoint him Chief Technical Adviser on Judiciary, saying that the state still needs his expertise.
Outlining the high points of the career of Justice Nnadi, which spanned 32 years, starting as a Senior Magistrate in 1988, High Court Judge in 1998 and culminating in his elevation to Chief Judge in 2014, Governor Uzodinma noted that his calm mien and disarming wit brought to the fore the enormous endowments which he deployed to serve the state and humanity excellently.
The Governor praised the erudite Jurist for leaving behind a robust judicial architecture for the state.
Delivering his speech, retired Justice Nnadi thanked God for seeing him through in the course of his work both as a magistrate and judge. He stated that under his watch, over 30 magistrates and 17 judges were called to the bench to further strengthen judicial system and fast track justice delivery.
While appreciating the governor for restoring the pride of the judiciary by upholding judicial independence and autonomy, Justice Nnadi applauded governor Uzodinma for being judicial friendly by keeping to the letters of the Constitution.
The event witnessed the launching of a book in honour of retired Justice Nnadi.