Ayade bows to pressure, inaugurates Ikpeme as Cross River’s acting CJ
After much pressure and intrigues, Governor Ben Ayade is to swear in Justice Akon Ikpeme as Cross River State’s acting chief judge (CJ) today. The state government had rooted for a junior colleague, Justice Maurice Eneji that was recommended by the newly inaugurated Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on November 27.
The Ayade administration had constituted the commission with Justice Agbojo Ogar (rtd) as chairman instead of the then sitting CJ, Justice Michael Edem who walked out in protest.
The judiciary, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), senior lawyers (SANs) and others had moved against the decision of the government to swear in a junior as the state’s chief law officer. But in a statement yesterday by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the governor, Christian Ita, the government said: “Senator Ben Ayade will tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3, 2019, swear in Justice Akon Ikpeme as the acting chief judge of the state.”
The ceremony, according to the spokesman, would take place at the State Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Calabar. Justice Edem had retired on November 29 and declared Justice Ikpeme at a valedictory court session as acting chief judge pending his ratification by the National Judicial Commission (NJC).