Cross River State House of Assembly on Thursday confirmed Justice Akon Ikpeme as Substantive Chief Judge of the state after rejecting her twice in 2020.
Vanguard learned that her rejection was based on her being a ‘security threat’ to the state.
Ikpeme who had been screened in 2020 was not confirmed by the state House of Assembly as she was rejected twice, with two of her junior colleagues serving in an acting capacity for about one year.
Ikpeme was however not present at the floor of the house during her confirmation on Thursday Morning.
Recall that when Justice Micheal Edem’s tenure ended in November 2019, Justice Ikpeme Akon took over on acting capacity for three months, then Justice Walter Ineji also took over in acting capacity for six months while Justice Eyo Effiom Ita also acted with his tenure terminating on 21 of January 2021.
In a third letter presented on the floor of the house dated 20 January 2021 signed by the Secretary to the State government with, Barr Tina Agbor Banku with Ref: SSG/S/300/VOL.XVIX/550, it requested the nomination for the appointment Justice Akon Ikpeme as Chief Judge of the state for the third time.
“In the exercise of the powers conferred on His Excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State by Section 271(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I am directed to forward the name of Hon. Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme for confirmation by the Honourable House as Chief Judge of Cross River State in the State Public Service.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to request Mr. Speaker and Honorable Members to please grant the consequential confirmation of the nominee for formal appointment as Chief Judge of Cross River State in the State Public Service,” the letter addressed to the Speaker partly read.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the confirmation, Speaker of CRSHA, Hon Eteng Jonah Williams said they now have fresh facts about Justice Ikpeme.
His words:” Her confirmation is for the stability of the Judiciary, we felt Cross Riverians are suffering a lot because of that and we have done our job, which is to stabilize the Judiciary.
“We have gotten new facts and new alignment, we did not say she was a security threat, it was simply from the figment of some people’s imagination, I did not say she was a security threat neither did the house say so, I read just like everyone else did.
“As the Chief Judge, she knows her responsibility, we expect a lot because a lot of CrossRiverians stood by her during her trying times, she should give justice, do the right thing, be fair to all and I wish her good luck,” he said.