Cross River Assembly confirms Akon Ikpeme as Chief Judge

By Eme Offiong, Calabar

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The Cross River House of Assembly, on Thursday, confirmed the nomination of Justice Akon Ikpeme as the substantive Chief Judge of the State.

The resolution was reached after an emergency session of the state assembly in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, southern Nigeria.

Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme, was finally confirmed sequel to the reading of a third correspondence signed by Tina Agbor, the Secretary to the State Government.

Confirmation

At the session, which took less than thirty minutes, the leader of the assembly, Peter Odey representing Ogoja State constituency moved a motion for confirmation, which was seconded by the Chief Whip, Okon Ephraim representing Calabar South 1 constituency.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Eteng Jonah Williams said, “the document before us is not new. This is the third time the executive is presenting the nominee, Justice Ikpeme, before the house for confirmation.

We had set up a committee to consider the nomination and debated extensively. So, we just need to go straight to the point and take a decision,”  Williams said.

The Speaker in an interview with some newsmen, further stated, “the assembly just did its job. We got new facts, new documents and report, which we needed for deliberation and we have done our job.”

He expressed the hope that when sworn-in, Justice Ikpeme would champion judicial reforms and give fair judgements.

We expect that she would stabilize the judiciary. As the Chief Judge she knows her responsibility, especially for Cross River people standing by her. She should give us justice, she should do her work without fear or favour and be fair,” the Speaker advised.

Background

When the former State Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edem retired in November 28, 2019, Justice Akon Ikpeme merely acted as Chief Judge from December 3, 2019 to March 2, 2020.

After she served in acting capacity, the assembly rejected her nomination for confirmation as the substantive Chief Judge and rather swore in Justice Maurice Eneji as acting Chief Judge for two tenures.

Ikpeme was again rejected by the legislators and a third Judge, Justice Eyo Effiom Ita was sworn in on acting capacity and served from October 19, 2020 to January 18, 2021.

Justice Akon Ikpeme is expected to be sworn into office as the Cross River State Chief Judge by Governor Ben Ayade.

 

 

 

Emmanuel Ukoh

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