A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Marshal Umukoro, has announced that only judicial officers under 50 years of age are now eligible for appointment as judges in the state.

Umukoro announced this in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer in the Office of the Chief Judge, Mr. Agbaragu Timothy, on Tuesday in Asaba.

The chief judge said that the policy had become necessary to enhance the prospects of judges from the state for appointment into the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

He said that based on this policy, greater number of judges from the state would go to superior courts of records at the centre.

Umukoro cited as examples the elevation of Justice Ebiowei Tobi to the Court of Appeal and Justice P.O. Onajite-Kujuobola’s secondment to the Gambia judiciary as a function of their eligibility and vibrancy.

He explained that the new policy was a “paradigm shift” from the old order which allowed elderly judicial officers with less prospects of making it to the apex court to be appointed judges.

The chief judge said that appointment of judges in the state was also subject to availability of fund.

He commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his unwavering support to the state judiciary in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities.

Umukoro said that judges should, in turn, strive at all times to uphold justice, fairness and equity.

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