The National Judicial Council (NJC) has approved the extension of the appointment of Justice Maurice Eneji as the Acting Chief Judge of Cross River State for another three months.
Justice Maurice Eneji was appointed Acting Chief Judge on March 2nd.
To ensure there was no vacuum in the position, the NJC had sent a letter to Governor Ben Ayade asking that Justice Akon Ikpeme be sworn-in as substantive Chief Judge since Eneji’s three months had expired.
But the Cross River State House of Assembly, for the second time, rejected the request from the NJC.
The House, in a voice vote, said it could not reverse itself on the matter of who becomes the Chief Judge of the state, having exhaustively deliberateD on the issue three months ago and finally settling on Justice Maurice Eneji.
Against this backdrop, the NJC approved the extension of Justice Eneji’s tenure as stated in a letter to the state governor dated May 29th and signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dr IT Muhammed.
It states: ‘The extension of Justice Eneji’s appointment shall take effect from June 3, 2020, and end on September 2, 2020, in accordance with the provisions of Section 217(5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
‘Consequently, His Excellency the Governor, Sir Ben Ayade, has approved the extension of the appointment of Justice Eneji as the state Acting Chief Judge by three months.’