ACTING CHIEF JUDGE SWORN IN: AYADE PLEDGES JUDICIARY’S INDEPENDENCE, HARPS ON STATE’S INTEREST AND PEACE

“THE National Judicial Council is the final authority on matters involving the appointment of the Chief Judge of the state,” was how the Cross River Governor, Sir Ben Ayade acknowledged the big role the 1999 Constitution as
amended allotted to the Federal body while swearing the State’s acting Chief Judge recently . Ayade was quick to
also recognise the role of the governor as well and “I believe that for the interest and peace of the state, for the goodness of character and the warmness of the state, the right thing to do at this point is what the state has done by
swearing in an acting chief Judge.”Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme assumed the state’s prime judicial mantle following the
retirement of Hon. Justice Michael Edem as the Chief Judge of Cross River, who had succeeded Late Hon. Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam early in Governor Ayade’s 1st tenure

Let me congratulate you for this great feat because I know as a woman you have higher ethics and higher morals and I believe that as a mother, all of those qualities will come to bear,

The governor said, “I have full respect of section 153 of the 1999 constitution as amended which provides for the
setting up of the National Judicial Council to safeguard the judiciary from the executive.” He maintained that, “the
beauty of the law is that the law is derived from morality, ethics and norms of the people,” pointing out that “the
law has moral sensitivity that we must respect hence Hon. Justice Ikpeme’s appointment “today is a clear testimony
of the civilization of Cross River State.” Ayade who said he was excited with the acting Chief Judge’s credentials remarked that he had no doubt that she will drive the judiciary of the state. “Let me congratulate you for this great feat because I know as a woman you have higher ethics and higher morals and I believe that as a mother, all of those
qualities will come to bear,” stated the Governor Ayade. Reasoning that he has full respect for the acting Chief Judge, her pedigree, capacity, qualification and content, Ayade intimated that, “given your extensive experience as I read out from your CV, it is obvious and clear that indeed your tenure as the acting Chief Judge of Cross River will see a tremendous improvement in our judicial system.”

Responding, the newly sworn in Acting Chief Judge thanked God who rules all the affairs of men and the governor for swearing her in, as she pledged to work in sincerity during her tenure. Applauding the governor for being a father of the entire state, the acting Chief Judge expressed hope, that, “as a father, you will not allow the judiciary or the
legislature to crumble.” Hon. Justice Ikpeme averred that “the separation of the arms of government as contained
in the constitution emanated from the Bible when God said 1 am the king, the law giver and the judge,” adding that,
“all are separated but work as one as when one leg fails, the other also fails.>>>

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