Enugu gets first female acting chief judge

By Cyril Okonkwo, Enugu

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State (left), congratulating the new acting Chief Judge of the state, Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, shortly after she was sworn in at Government House, Enugu on Friday.

Justice Priscilla Emehelu is now the acting Chief Judge of Enugu State following the retirement of the former chief judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike.

Justice Emehelu was sworn-in on Friday, after an oath of office administered by the state’s Solicitor-General, Victor Emeribe.

The State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said her swearing-in was consistent with Section 271 (4) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“If the office of the chief judge of a state is vacant, or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office… the governor of the state shall appoint the most senior judge of the high court to perform those functions,” Governor Ugwuanyi stated.

Recommendation letters
He further said that he had received two letters recommending the former chief judge’s suspension and compulsory retirement from office.

The acting chief judge attributed her appointment to providence and pledged to ‘carry out the responsibilities of her new office to the best of her abilities and with the fear of God.’

Justice Priscilla Emehelu was appointed high court judge in 1998 and had previously been Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Enugu State.

Mercy Chukwudiebere