Ayade Swears In Three High Court Judges, Charges Them to Facilitate Justice Delivery
Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, Thursday, at the state executive chamber, Calabar, swore in three High Court judges with a charge on them not to pervert justice. The judges who took their oaths of allegiance and office in the presence of the Deputy governor Prof Ivara Esu, Chief Judge of the state, Hon Justice Michael Edem, members of the state executive council as well as the Bar and Bench, were Justices Emmanuel Agiampuye Ubua, Obo Awusa Obo and Imelda Bassey Etape. Swearing in the new judges, Ayade charged them to take the appointments as great task and responsibility, noting that a lean liberty is better than fat slavery.
He further pointed out that, “you had rather stay in your poverty as a judge than to have all the wealth and have your soul enslaved to your conscience because you have perverted justice.” Challenging them to a new thinking and philosophy where law will be driven by a true African heritage, the governor stressed the need for the judges to see arbitration as the alternative to conflict resolution and the most welcome concept in modern legislative and legal practice, especially where court is structured to deliver judgement instead of peace. Ayade who reasoned that the law has been static for too long, advocated for a point in life where law will derive its morality from the circumstances of an event, intimating that, “law is shifting away from codification to the principles of reality.”
He reminded the judges that “the judiciary requires men of honour and integrity, who appreciate true value and honour, who understand ethics and morality and the science that man is a spiritual being,” adding, “in whatever you do, there will be a time where your deeds will be accounted for.” Ayade maintained that as judges whose responsibility it is to decide whether a man’s freedom will be taken or not and if a penalty or fine will be given, there is need to look at the social nexus of every crime as, “we must advance as a nation and advance as humanity to a greater goal, a higher philosophy and a high essence of being.” According to the governor, “as long as we rely on documentations and turn ourselves to mathematical computers that interpret a code, section or subsection of the law and dish out penalty without understudying the real sociology of a crime, we would fail as a people.
“There are certain simple human crimes that must be considered outside the boundaries and beacons of law,” he explained. Responding on behalf of the newly sworn in judges, Justice Etape thanked God for being fair and gracious to them and the governor for the honour done them as well as the Nigeria Bar Association for the support so received. She assured the governor that she and her newly sworn in colleagues would acquit themselves in their new responsibility.