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Sunday, September 13, 2020

September 13, 2020

It's Day 10 In Cross River Without A Chief Judge, Confirm And Swear-In Justice Ikpeme Now - Grassroot Reporters Editorial Board


Justice Akon Ikpeme, the most senior judge who was recommended by the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for appointment as substantive Chief Judge was rejected by Governor Ben Ayade, through the Cross River State House of Assembly on grounds of being a non-indigene and a security risk, even though she is married to a Cross Riverian and has lived all her life in Cross River State. Her mother is from Calabar Municipality and she has served Cross River State in various capacities.

Many have condemned the action of Governor Ben Ayade and the state assembly, wondering why same was not applied to some appointees of the government such as Dr Betta Edu, Cross River State Health Commissioner who is said to come from one of the south eastern states but married to a Cross Riverian from Abi LGA; and many other appointees of government who are not from Cross River State.

Some have alluded her non confirmation to ethnic consideration, saying the sole reason is because the government doesn't want someone from the southern senatorial district to reoccupy the post shortly afterJustice Michael Edem, former occupant of the post, who also hails from the same zone.

The judiciary in Cross River State has been crippled due to this vacuum.

Grassroot Reporters hereby appeal to Governor Ben Sir Benedict Ayade and the State Assembly to save the state this embarrassment. Justice Ikpeme should be cleared immediately and sworn-in as substantive Chief Judge of Cross River State.