by crossriverwatch admin
No fewer than 28 magistrates were sworn in by the Chief Judge of Cross River State and Chairman, Judicial Service Commission, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam at the High Court No. 1, Mary Slessor Avenue, Calabar.
Of the twenty eight newly appointed magistrates, eight of them were converted on transfer of service including the wife of the Chief Judge, Helen Okoi Itam, while the remaining twenty including his son, Itam Obasesam Okoi were on fresh appointment.
Speaking during the swearing in ceremony which was witnessed by the representative of the Governor and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, the Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam said their appointment became necessary due to vacancies created by deaths, retirements as well as additional responsibilities which has made the state judiciary to suffer acute manpower shortage in the entire gamut of its work force and operational activities.
The CJ said 20 functional Magistrates were expected to preside over 34 Magistrate’s Courts and 9 Special Courts, but due to shortage of personnel, Magistrates Courts in Creek Town, Atan Onoyom, Biakpan, Apiapum, Effraya, Okubushi, Batriko, Sankwala, Yahe among others had to function with visiting Magistrates, while Special Courts like Revenue, sanitation, forestry, pharmaceutical, DOPT, FRSC and Prison Decongestion Court 1&2 could only function minimally, irregularly or not at all.
The CJ added that out of 130 lawyers that applied, the commission was limited to recruit only 20 fresh intakes and 8 conversion.
While calling on the newly sworn in Magistrates to abide by the code of conduct of public officers as enshrined in the 5th Schedule to the Constitution, Justice Okoi Itam said, “A public office is a public trust and you are expected to discharge your duties with due regard to the law and humanity, and to do justice to all manner of persons without fear or favor, affection or ill will to any.
“After today you will be given a few days to sort out your urgent affairs. Next will be to commence converting you, your mindset from that of yesterday to that of tomorrow and future for those willing, able and ready.
“Let it be known that those who like to complain about the cost of law, order and justice, should please try the alternative which is the impunity of lawlessness and insecurity in the society”.
Some of the newly sworn in Magistrates assured the Chief Judge and the people of Cross River State that they will leave up to expectation at all times.
The 28 Magistrates at a glance:
Shadrach Oru Orji
Ikpi Ibiang Abam
Eden Eson Ecoma
Emmanuel Mba Inyang
Gabriel Elium Agana
Edim Ekiem Azom
Esther Atana Orim
Gertrude Bassey Njar
Okon Edet Ekpeyong
Orok Bassey Etim
Itam Obasesam Okoi
Bassey Iwara Osuaya
Jalarth Ogar Agim
Dorothy Lily Jacob
Edim Mary Ekong
Ashuo Anthony Ekwok
Converison/Transfer of Service
Freancis Effiong Inameti
Helen Okoi Itam
Patience David Etim
David Ogar Oshie
Victoria Sogebia Ebaye
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