A judge and and litigants reportedly escaped death yesterday in Abia State when the leaking ceiling of Abia High Court 4 caved in during court session.
A media practitioner, Ferdinand Ekeoma who shared an update about the incident said that it was by the special grace of God that litigants and the judge were saved.
Ekeoma said before the unfortunate incident, several appeals were made to the administration of Dr Okezie Ikpezu to rehabilitate the court room and others that are in bad shape, but all appeals fell on deaf ears.
He further noted that despite the huge amount of money written off as funds spent on the judiciary annually by the state government, Abia has some of the most rotten, dilapidated and dirty court rooms in the whole of the South East.
He however, said that the accident has given credence to a part of an open letter which the former Attorney General of the State, Chief Umeh Kalu (SAN) wrote to governor Ikpezu, describing court rooms in Abia as village huts.
“Saved by the Grace of God.
“Yesterday, the ceiling of Aba High court 4 which had been leaking for a long time caved in while the court was in session.
“It was by the special grace of God that litigants and the judge were saved. We would have been mourning now if the disaster recorded fatality.
“Prior to this disaster, several appeals had been made to Abia state government to rehabilitate the court room and other court rooms in similar condition, but all appeals fell on deaf ears.
In spite of the humongous amounts of money written off as funds spent on the judiciary annually, yet Abia parades some of the most decayed, dilapidated and dirty court rooms in the South East.
“This disaster gives credence to a part of the open letter which the former Attorney General of the state, Chief Umeh Kalu SAN wrote to the governor, where he also said that court rooms in Abia look like village huts. This disaster as we have always known clearly shows that Chief Kalu was even kind with words, because these courts actually look like prisons where those tried in court should not even be kept.
“The non existence of the independence of the judiciary is felt more in Abia because the callous cartel running the state neither understands nor appreciates the place and importance of this arm of government, hence the disdainful treatment of judicial officers and neglect of structures and offices that are supposed to serve as places of comfort for the discharge of their duties.
“As I write, customary court Judges and members appointed a few months ago have not received a dime in salary. Of course the delay would enrich some people first, because they would start receiving their salaries.
“Many Magistrates suffered similar fate last year when they were appointed; it took several months before some of them started receiving salaries.
“I ask again; what does Abia state government do with the several billions it receives monthly?