By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade moments ago swore in Justice Michael Edem as the acting Chief Judge of the state.
This follows his appointment as acting Chief Judge pursuant to Section 271, sub-section 4 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and following the death of the immediate past Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam on Saturday March 18 after a brief illness.
In a ceremony held at the EXCO chambers of the Governor’s office, Ayade charged Justice Edem to embark on reforms that will strengthen the judiciary.
“Bring reform to the judiciary, close the relationship between the executives and the judiciary while creating a new standard for a higher elevation,” Ayade said and urged him to abide by his oath of office which states that; “No personal interest of his will make him to take decision that will not stand for the Interest of the common man.”
Ayade who pointed out that Justice Edem looks were inspiring, maintained that by virtue of his appointment, the state will witness peace, tranquility and justice as he (Justice Edem) was cerebral and will take Cross River to higher heights as the head of the state’s judicial arm.
“We are witnessing the ascension into power of a man of energy, with great understanding of literature and understand the poetry of life, an impartial judge,” Ayade said and further described him as ‘Power Mike’, assuring that “filled with strength and stamina I am confident that you will trash out some outstanding cases that have been for too long.”
In his remarks, the newly sworn-in acting Chief Judge said he is equal to the task as he is not new to the confidence reposed in him.
“I am not daunted because I think with due respect to modesty, that I can always do it and do it well” he said and promised that; “I will be quick in the dispatch of my responsibility to the glory and credit of the state government and all the citizens therein because in my hand are powers and I can assure that there will be judicious use of the power.”
Edem who quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet; “If it were done when it were done, it were well done if it were done quickly,” pledged his stay in office will see the unification of the three arms of government which will work in unison.
“I am that child who has been given the honor to cure and I know that I will always cure,” he said.
Until his recent appointment, Justice Edem was the Divisional Judge of the Ikom Judicial Division following his transfer from High Court number 2 in the Calabar division in 2016.
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