By Emeke Alexander
Onome Marshal-Umukoro, son to the Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro, was among the five new judges sworn-in by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Monday in Asaba, the state capital.
Real-Time24 investigation revealed that others who allegedly made the list are, Aaron Ighoverio, first cousin to the President of President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Delta State, Justice Stella Ogene, former Registrar Delta State High Court, Emmanuel Zimi Dolor, wife to one of Governor Okowa’s best friends, Agboje Veronica Oka and Enenmo Onyeawuli Ferdinard, who was said to be recommended by the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor.
Their swearing-in confirms the alarm raised by the Nigerian Bar Association, Warri Branch, Delta State, in response to a letter dated June 6, 2019, by the Judicial Service Commission of Delta State, wherein the body questioned the suitability or otherwise of the thirty-six shortlisted persons for appointment as Judges of the Delta State Judiciary.
The NBA in a petition to National Judicial Council, (NJC), Abuja, lampooned the Chief Judge and President of the Customary Court of Appeal for allegedly appointing their family members as High Court Judges in the state without following due process.
The petition signed by the Chairman, Micheal Asugo and Secretary, John Aruoture, the association accused the chief judge of breaching the guidelines of the NJC for the appointment of judges.
Governor Okowa while swearing-in the five new judges, charged the judiciary to shun granting frivolous injunctions and insist on speedy dispensation of justice.
He disclosed that the judges were appointed in line with laid down procedures as enshrined in Section 271, sub-section (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) adding that the appointees possessed proven track records of performance, critical thinking skills and the noble temperament expected of judges.