Bayelsa gets new Chief Judge


Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has sworn in Justice Matilda Abrakasa Ayemieye as the new chief judge of the state after serving in an acting capacity for about six months.

The swearing-in ceremony of Justice Ayemieye as the fourth substantive Chief Judge of Bayelsa State

took place at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa, on Thursday.

She was appointed acting chief judge on January 16, 2023, following the retirement of her predecessor, Justice Kate Abiri.

Senator Diri said her appointment was in accordance with established practice and in line with Section 271 Subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

According to him: “It is my duty and privilege as governor to appoint the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State. This section states that the Chief Judge of a state shall be appointed by the governor of the state following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), subject to confirmation by the State House of Assembly.”

The Bayelsa governor noted that the event symbolised a significant milestone in his administration’s commitment to the rule of law and the effective administration of justice, stressing that it was the consolidation of the state’s judicial system that continues to promise fairness, impartiality, and justice for all.

He charged the judiciary to remain independent, impartial, and free from any external influence, as well as uphold the principles of justice and fairness.

Congratulating Ayemieye on her appointment, the state’s helmsman observed that the new chief judge has demonstrated professional competence, integrity, and a passion for justice.

“I reiterate my administration’s commitment to supporting the judiciary in carrying out its constitutional duties. We will provide the necessary resources and infrastructure to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of our judiciary,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to members of the judiciary for their unwavering commitment to justice and equally applauded her predecessor, Justice Kate Abiri, for her long, exceptional, and meritorious years of selfless service to the state.

Dignitaries at the ceremony included the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, represented by the deputy speaker, Michael Ogbere; Judge of the National Industrial Court, Yenagoa Division, Justice Bashar Alkali; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Dame Didi Walson-Jack; members of the executive council and other top government functionaries.

The oaths of allegiance and office were administered by the state Chief Registrar, Amaebi Orukari.

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