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THE ESTABLISHMENT/ORIGIN OF THE IMO STATE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The laws of Eastern Nigeria came into force on the 1st day of October, 1963. Section 50, Sub-Sections 1-3, of the said law established a High Court for the Eastern Region.

According to the said Section 50;
(1)    "There shall be a High Court for the Region.

(2)    The Judges of the High Court of the region shall be

  1. The Chief Justice of the Region; and

  2. Such number of other judges (not being less than six) as may be prescribed by the Legislature of the Region."   

(3)    The High Court of the Region shall be a superior court of record and, save as otherwise provided by any law in force in the Region, shall have all the powers of such a Court.

Upon the creation of Imo State in 1976 as one of the (19) nineteen States of the Federation; the afore-mentioned laws of Eastern Nigeria, now applicable in Imo State, equally established a High Court for the State. That marks the establishment of the Imo State Judiciary. And by the Imo State legal Notice (ISLN) No. 5 of 1977, captioned - The High Court Law (Cap.61), the then Military Governor of Imo State, Navy Commodore Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu, established eight (8) Nos. Judicial Divisions in Imo State; namely, Owerri, Aba, Umuahia, Okigwe, Orlu, Afikpo, Ohafia, and Oguta, and were according to High Court (Judicial Divisions) Order, 1977, deemed to have come into force on 1st September, 1976.

Thus the Imo State Judiciary came into being with the other organs/arms of government upon the creation of the Imo in 1976, by the then Military administration of General Murtala Mohammed.

When Abia State and part of Ebonyi State, were carved out of the old Imo State in1991, leaving Owerri, Okigwe, Orlu and Oguta judicial divisions; more judicial divisions have grown out of them. The Imo State Judiciary presently has Owerri, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Aboh Mbaise, Mbano/Etiti, Mbaitoli/Ikeduru, Nkwerre/Isu and Oru Judicial Divisions. The new/additional judicial divisions were created by Imo State legal Notice (ISLN) No. 2 of 1995.

Furthermore, the Imo State Legal Notice No. 2 of 2003 has also created more Magisterial Districts, as well as, subsidiary places of Sessions. The Imo State Judiciary, now has, twenty-three (23 Nos) Magisterial Districts/Main places of Court sitting and fourteen (14 Nos) subsidiary places of Session. The Magisterial Districts are namely: Owerri, Ihiagwa, Aboh-Mbaise, Afor-Oru, Ehime Mbano - Nsu, Ezinihitte-Mbaise, Ideato-North, Ideato-South, Ihitte-Uboma, Ikeduru, Isiala Mbano, Isu, Mbaitoli, Ngor-Okpala, Nkwerre, Obowo, Egbema, Oguta, Okigwe, Orlu, Orsu, Oru and Njaba.

It is pertinent to add that Section 270 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria equally established a High Court for each State of the Federation.

FUNCTIONS:
The functions of the Imo State Judiciary do not depart from those roles constitutionally assigned to it by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Sections 6, Sub-section 2 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, states inter-alia:

"The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the Courts to which this Section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State".

As regards the Judicial Powers, Section 6 of the constitution vests judicial powers of the Federation in the Court established for the Federation, while the Judicial Powers of the States are vested in the Courts to which the section relates being courts established, subject as provided by the constitution for a state in accordance with the provisions of the said section 6. This role is in plain terms, adjudication and administration of justice.

The Imo State Judiciary (High Court) Headquarters is located along Orlu Road Owerri, about one kilometer (1km) from the main Post Office, Owerri.

Currently the Imo State Judiciary (High Court) has three departments namely: Department of Administration; Department of Planning, Research and Statistics.

CHIEF JUDGES OF IMO STATE JUDICIARY, 1976 - DATE

1. Hon. Justice C. A. Oputa 

1/9/76   -   4/7/84 

2. Hon. Justice R. U. Aguta 

22/10/84 - 11/11/89 

3. Hon. Justice F. I. E. Ukattah 

1989   -   1991

4. Hon. Justice G. G. I. Ojiako 

18/12/91  -  4/12/97 

5. Hon. Justice S. O. Ekpe 

16/4/98    -  8/12/98 

6. Hon. Justice C. B. C Ubah 

13/5/99    -  24/9/99 

7. Hon. Justice L. C. Alinnor 

16/10/2000 - 11/8/2002 

8. Hon. Justice P. C. Onumajulu 

2002   - 2010 

9. Hon. Justice B. A. Njemanze 

2010   to   date 

CHIEF REGISTRARS OF IMO STATE JUDICIARY, 1976 - DATE

1.  M. O. Eziri 

1976 - 1979 

2.  R. O. Alilionwu 

1979 - 1982 

3.  S. N. Nwachukwu 

1982 - 1991 

4.  Mrs. E. Obasanjo 

1991 - 1992 (Acting Chief Registrar) 

5.  C. I. Dureke 

1992 - 1995 

6.  P. O. Nnadi 

1995 - 1998 

7.  E. Izekwe-Okwaraoka 

1998 - 2002 

8.  M. C. Lelenwa 

2003 - 2005 

9.  T.N. Nzeukwu 

2005 - 2008 

10. E. C. Amaechi 

2008 to date 

JUDGES OF THE HIGH COURT OF IMO STATE OF NIGERIA SERVING, RETIRED, ELEVATED, MOVED TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS AND DECEASED FROM 1976 TO DATE

1

 The Hon. Mr. Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, Chief Judge (Rtd. JSC) 

2

 The Hon. Mr. Justice K.O. Anya (Rtd.) 

3

 The Hon. Mr. Justice Abai Ikwechegh (Late) 

4

 The Hon. Mr. Justice R U. Aguta (CJ Retired) 

5

 The Hon. Mr. Justice S. Amadi Obi (Late) 

6

 The Hon. Mr. Justice A. K. Uche (Late) 

7

 The Hon. Mr. Justice S. W. Chanakwalam (Retired) 

8

 The Hon. Mr. Justice F, I. E. Ukattah (CJ Retired) 

9

 The Hon. Mr. Justice A. A. Ononuju (Rtd/Late) 

10

 The Hon. Mr. Justice E. O. Ogwuebgu (Rtd JSC) 

11

 The Hon. Mr. Justice D. E. Njiribeako (Retired) 

12

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. M.C. Abangowe (Late) 

13

 The Hon. Mr. Justice O.A. Okezie (Retired) 

14

 The Hon. Mr. Justice G.G. I. Ojiako (Retired) 

15

 The Hon. Mr. Justice S.A. Nsofor (Rtd JCA) 

16

 The Hon. Mr. Justice Jonah Johnson (Rtd/Late) 

17

 The Hon. Mr. Justice J. Ogu Ugoagwu (Retired) 

18

 The Hon. Mr. Justice G. O. Oyudo (Rtd/Late) 

19

 The Hon. Mr. Justice M. O. Eziri (Retired) 

20

 The Hon. Mr. Justice I. C. E. Ihejietoh (Rtd/Late) 

21

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. U. Mbachu (Rtd/Late) 

22

 The Hon. Mr. Justice S. N. Okoroafor (Late) 

23

 The Hon. Mr. Justice R. O. Alilionwu (Late)

24

 The Hon. Mr. Justice M. O. Maranzu (Retired) 

25

 The Hon. Mr. Justice J. S. Anyanwu (Rtd/Late) 

26

 The Hon. Mr. Justice N. Nwa -Wachukwu (late) 

27

 The Hon. Mr. Justice I. C. Pats-Acholonu (Late JSC)

28

 The Hon. Mr. Justice Ndem Emole (Retired) 

29

 The Hon. Mr. Justice E. I. N. Nwogu (Late) 

30

 The Hon. Mr. Justice S. O. Ekpe (Rtd/Late, JCA) 

31

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. B. C. Ubah (Retired) 

32

 The Hon. Mr. Justice P. C. Okoli (Rtd/Late) 

33

 The Hon. Mr. Justice L. C. Alinnor (Retired) 

34

 The Hon. Mr. Justice G. I. Udom- Azogu (Late JCA) 

35

 The Hon. Mr. Justice M. E. Metu (Retired) 

36

 The Hon. Mr. Justice A. I. Ezenagu (Retired) 

37

 The Hon. Mr. Justice S. N. Nwachukwu (Rtd/Late) 

38

 The Hon. Mr. Justice P. C. Onumajulu (CJ/Retired) 

39

 The Hon. Mr. Justice A. U. Amaeshi (Retired) 

40

 The Hon. Mr. Justice N. O. Adigwe (Retired) 

41

 The Hon. Mr. Justice B. A. Njemanze 

42

 The Hon. Mr. Justice I. O. Agugua 

43

 The Hon. Mr. Justice G. C. Ihekire (Retired) 

44

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. I. Dureke (Retired) 

45

 The Hon. Mr. Justice A. O. H. Ukachukwu (Retired) 

46

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. E. Nwosu -Theme (JCA) 

47

 The Hon. Mr. Justice A. N. Opara 

48

 The Hon. Mr. Justice P. O. Nnadi 

49

 The Hon. Mr. Justice U. D. Ogwurike 

50

 The Hon. Mr. Justice F. T. Duroha - Igwe 

51

 The Hon. Mr. Justice P. C. Ikpeama 

52

 The Hon. Mr. Justice D. O. Onyema (Late) 

53

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. T. Ohakwe 

54

 The Hon. Mr. Justice C. M. T. Egole 

55

 The Hon. Mr. Justice Goddy Anunihu 

56

 The Hon. Mr. Justice N. Okoronkwo

57

 The Hon. Mr. Justice N. B. Ukoha

58

 The Hon. Mr. Justice T. E. Chikeka 

59

 The Hon. Mr. Justice E. O. Agada 

60

 The Hon. Mr. Justice T. N. Nzeukwu 

61

 The Hon. Mr. Justice L. C. Azuama 

62

 The Hon. Mr. Justice K. A. Ojiako 

SERVING JUDGES OF THE CUSTOMARY COURT APPEAL OF IMO STATE OF NIGERIA

1 Hon Justice B. C. Egu (President CCA)
2 Hon Justice P. I. Okpara (CCA)
3 Hon Justice C. U. Anwukah (CCA)
4 Hon Justice F. C. Abosi (CCA)
5 Hon Justice M. E. Njoku (CCA)
6 Hon Justice V. U. Okorie (CCA)