Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Friday admitted that the first appointment of Mr Cletus Ofoke as the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice was fraught with irregularities.
The governor made the clarification while swearing-in the Attorney-General in Abakaliki.
According to Umahi, the state government discovered some irregularities in Ofoke’s appointment as attorney general which made it terminate the appointment and offer him a fresh one.
“There were two conflicting opinions over Ofoke’s appointment with one holding that the number of years he stayed in the bar before the date of appointment was not up to 10 years as required by law.
“This opinion held that he tendered his receipts as required, but another opinion also from the corridors of the bar stated that he would attain the stipulated 10 years stay by Nov.13.
“We then decided to terminate the appointment as being irregular and not having sufficient information and allow him to attain the 10 years by Nov. 13 as posited by the second opinion,” he said.
The governor said that the government combined both opinions to stay safe, adding that anything Ofoke had done before his appointment’s termination must be revisited to be null and void.
“He never existed as attorney general, but has started to be in existence from Friday, Nov. 17.
“The ministry of justice, however, needs a lot of attention and we will work with you to make the suffering lawyers happy to defend us well.
“The ring road matter is also before you and you should liaise with our consultants to handle it properly,” he said.
Ofoke in his response, thanked the governor for finding him worthy of being re-appointed and pledged to justify the confidence reposed in him.
“I will do all within my powers to ensure that the ministry of justice is repositioned for effective justice delivery in the state,” he said.
Ofoke was sworn-in on Nov. 2, to replace Mr Augustine Nwankwagu who was sacked over acts inconsistent with his office.