Governor Ben Ayade on Monday swore in Justice Akon Ikpeme as the substantive chief judge of Cross River State.
The swearing-in, which took place at the Executive Council Chambers, Calabar, followed Ikpeme’s confirmation by the Cross River State House of Assembly last week.
“Today brings to an end the worries of the state judiciary,” Ayade said after the swearing-in.
He charged the new chief judge to put behind the challenges of her confirmation, saying God fought her battle and not man.
“You are here at the right time and the right person for the job we must give support for a stable judiciary,” Ayade said. “There must be harmony between the three arms of government and her lordship is a covenant child.”
In her remarks, Justice Ikpeme gave thanks to God who rules in the affairs of men and promised to cooperate with other arms of government so as to move the state forward.
Ikpeme, who was to take over from the former state chief judge, Justice Michael Edem, only acted as chief judge from December 3, 2019 to March 2, 2020, with expectation that she would be confirmed as substantive chief judge.
However, the House of Assembly rejected her and instead swore in Justice Maurice Eneji who acted twice until September 2, 2020. Then Justice Eyo Effiom Ita was appointed to replace Eneji and his tenure ended on January 21.
Perhaps tired of repeating judges on acting capacity, and since the National Judicial Council had refused to grant the state’s request to promote Ikpeme to the Appeal Court, the governor on January 20 wrote to the State House of Assembly to confirm Ikpeme.