We Shall Ensure Justice, Fairness To All, Cross River CJ Ikpeme Assures

Akon Ikpeme (L), Gov Ben Ayade (R) straightnews
Akon Ikpeme (L), Gov Ben Ayade (R)

The substantive Chief Judge of Cross River, Justice Akon Ikpeme has pledged to dispense justice and fairness to all in the discharge of her duties.

Ikpeme, who spoke after Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State had sworn her in as the Chief Judge noted, “We have put the past behind us. It would be foolhardy to dwell there. Every member of the Cross River State Judiciary shall be carried along and we shall ensure Justice and fairness to all.”

She was confirmed as Chief Judge by the state House of Assembly on January 28, 2021, which had earlier declined to confirm her twice after she acted as the Chief Judge between December 3, 2019, and March 2, 2020.

Ikpeme commended the Governor and members of the House of Assembly for making the day a reality and described the Governor as humane.

“Let me assure His Excellency and the people of Cross River State that the judiciary under my watch shall cooperate with the Executive and the Legislative arms to move Cross River state forward,’’ the Chief Judge assured.
Ayade, who earlier had sworn in the Chief Judge on Monday at the Executive Chambers, Calabar, charged her to be fair to all to move the state judiciary forward.
He noted that the state was passing through a challenging period in its history and would want the judiciary to remain rancour-free to join hands with the Executive and Legislative arms to tackle those challenges.
Describing the new Chief Judge as the right person for the plum job, the Governor said Ikpeme was being sworn in at the right time and that despite the episodes of the last nine months which worked against her, she was indeed God’s choice.
“As God touched my heart over your matter, so has He touched the heart of every other person on your behalf. You must put behind you any ordeal you passed through in the course of your emergence.
“As a child of God, I expect you to dispense justice fairly, knowing that it was God who fought your battles. We need no distraction again in our judiciary”, he stated.
Recall that the State House of Assembly had, nine months ago, rejected Justice Ikpeme on the basis of her ethnic background, prompting the Governor to swear on two Junior Judges on acting capacity from March 2020 to January 2021.
The House, however, had a change of mind two weeks ago and confirmed her as a substantive Chief Judge, allegedly due to pressure from the National Judicial Commission which reportedly insisted on the most Senior Judge in the state judiciary, Ikpeme, as a substantive Chief Judge.

The National President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Apata, said he is delighted that the process has come to an end.

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