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C’River: Assembly confirms Ikpeme as Chief Judge

After refusing to confirm Justice Akon Ikpeme as the Chief Judge of Cross River State twice, the state House of Assembly yesterday finally confirmed her appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the state during the House’s sitting that did not last 30 minutes.

Ikpeme, who was to take over from the former Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edem, acted as Chief Judge between December 3, 2019 and March 2, 2020, with expectation that she would be confirmed as the substantive Chief Judge of the state.

The House, however, rejected her confirmation and swore in Justice Maurice Eneji, who also acted in that capacity twice until September 2, 2020, while Justice Eyo Effiom Ita was appointed to replace Eneji also in acting capacity before his tenure ended on January 21. But, following refusal of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to grant the state’s request to promote Justice Ikpeme to the Appeal Court, the state Governor, Emmanuel Udom had on January 20, 2021 wrote the state House of Assembly to confirm Justice Akon Ikpeme, as the substantive Chief Judge of the state.

Meanwhile, the House yesterday resumed from recess to confirm Ikpeme, which was said to have been done within 30 minutes of their sitting. While welcoming the lawmakers back to the Chamber from their recess, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams asked the Clerk of the House, Elder Bassey Ekpeyong to read the correspondent from the governor.

After the reading of the correspondence, the Speaker asked the Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Odey, representing Ogoja Constituency to move the motion for the confirmation of Justice Ikpeme and Odey, who had consistently opposed Ikpeme’s confirmation before, asked that the House confirm her. In a chat with journalists shortly after her confirmation, the Speaker said that the House had nothing against the Judge and that the confirmation was borne out of a painstaking investigation by the House Committee on Judiciary.

 

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