Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, on Monday, sworn in Justice Daisy Okocha as the first female substantive chief judge of the state.
The new chief judge had been the state acting chief judge since June 1 following her appointment shortly after the governor assumed office on May 29.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended the appointment of Justice Okocha as the state chief judge on July 22, 2013, while the Court of Appeal, on December 23, 2015, set aside a Federal High Court judgment which initially ruled that the state governor is not bound to comply with the NJC recommendation.
Speaking during the ceremony, Governor Wike said the swearing-in of Justice Okocha was a victory for the rule of law and a respect for the rules of succession as outlined by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
He said the state government acted in line with the recommendation of the NJC and confirmed by the Court of Appeal on December 23, 2015.
He added that with the development, it was clear that state governors cannot wilfully disrespect the recommendation of the NJC.
According to him, allowing the judiciary to be subjected to the discretion of sitting governors would desecrate the independence of the judiciary and lead to abuses that would negatively affect the dispensation of justice.
“The system will collapse if we refuse to respect the judicial system of succession as laid out. My administration will never do anything that will threaten the rule of law.
“We will always uphold the customs and traditions of the judiciary. We will never break down the laid down procedure. We will never run contrary to our avowed commitment to respect the independence of the judiciary at all times,” he said.
The governor charged the new chief judge to always uphold the constitution and carry other members of the bench along in the decision-making process.
This is her full profile:
The Hon. Justice Daisy Wotube Okocha was born on the 15th day of January 1951 to Chief Jonathan Wobasi Okocha, Ryton Police College London trained Police Officer and a retired Deputy Commissioner of Police in the then Eastern Region of Nigeria and his wife Mrs. Helen Nonyelum Okocha (a Caterer).
She is from the Ikwerre Nationality of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State of Nigeria. A 1978 Law graduate with honours degree of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. She was called to the Nigerian Bar on 29th June 1979. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma (Theology) RCBC and is a devout Christian.
She joined the Rivers State Judiciary on 15th April 1981 as a Magistrate Grade one and was elevated ten (10) years after in December 1991 to a Judge of the High Court of Rivers State and to date is a currently serving Judge in the Port Harcourt Judicial Division. She is the Presiding Judge High Court one Port Harcourt. She is a mother of two, a son aged 24 years and a daughter aged 16 years.
The Hon. Justice Daisy Wotube Okocha is an Associate Life Member of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association, current member and past Hon. Treasurer of the National Association of Women Judges Nigeria (NAWJN). Also a current member of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). She is a past Executive member and Current Patron of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Rivers State Zone.
Some notable positions held include: Senior Magistrate in charge Juvenile Court for 3 years, Past Secretary, Past Chairman Magistrates Association of Nigeria, Past National Vice President Magistrates Association of Nigeria. She is an Ambassador of Peace (UPF) also Ambassador of Good-will for Israel. Conferences attended include: All Nigeria Judges Conferences, ADR Conferences in Nigeria and London, UNODC and EFCC Workshop and National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters.
Under extra curricula activities, she was former Lady Captain Port Harcourt Golf Club. She is a Bronze Medalist in the National Sports Festival, she is a First Prize Certificate holder in Solo Recitation in the 1970 Festival of Arts and Culture in the poem “Patriotism”.
Hobbies: Philanthropy towards the Kingdom of God, Golf, Music, Tennis, Singing, Traveling and Cooking.