Chief Judge of Abia, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, has expressed concern over the poor state of infrastructure in various courts in the state.
Ogwe made the observation in Umuahia, on yesterday, when members of the Abia House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Justice visited him.
He decried the level of dilapidation in the courts, saying, “the court halls are in a mess.”
According to him, there are no good court halls in the state and some roofs of the buildings have either caved in or have no functional facilities. The chief judge alleged that the contractor building a court complex in Umuahia was currently being owed by the state government.
The CJ, who said that the state judiciary was confronted with “a generic of problems”, also said that the paucity of funds was threatening its smooth operstions.
He alleged that the judiciary was under funded, adding that it got only two months’ subventions in 2017.
He also said that many months of its subventions in 2019 had yet to be released by the government.
Ogwe said: “Our financial situation is precarious. “Our requests are never funded.
“We can’t even hold sessions for dead or retired members because we don’t have the fund. The only little money we get, we use it well,” he said.
He said that he was impressed with the house for honouring the judiciary with their visit and interaction and pleaded for more synergy with the legislature to make Abia better.
Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Emeka Okoroafor, commended the CJ for his efforts and pledged the commitment of the 7th Assembly to collaborate with the judiciary.
He said that the visit was in futherance of the committee’s constitutional duties to examine the challenges faced by the judiciary, if any, and see how it could exercise its power to address them.
Okoroafor, who represents Isuikwuato constituency, said that it is the responsibility of the house to find why monies appropriated for the judiciary were not being utilised.
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