Cross River Judiciary Crippled, Office Of Chief Judge Vacant For Seven Days

In Breaking News, National News, Politics

By Archibong Jeremiah

Judicial activities in Nigeria’s South South Cross River State, has been crippled for seven (7) days now because of the vacuum in the office of the Chief Judge of the State.

Justice Maurice Eneji’s tenure as the acting Chief Judge of the State expired on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Findings revealed that Justice Eneji cannot be reappointed having served for two conservative tenure of three months each.

The National Judicial Council (NJC) headed by the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), as at press time is yet to act on the vacuum that has crippled the judiciary in Cross River State.

Speaking in a telephone interview, the Chairman of Calabar branch of the NBA, Dr. Paul O. Ebiala, regretted the non-appointment of a substantive State Chief Judge.

He said the absence of the Chief Judge of the State presage danger and not a healthy development for the State.

The lawyer said it was unprecedented in the history of the Judiciary in Cross River State to be without a Chief Judge.

“The absence of the Judiciary in Cross River State is like shutting down the system completely, it is just like having a State but no Governor.

“A State that has no Governor is shut down completely; the Judiciary that has no Chief Judge is also shut down completely. A similar thing applies to the House of Assembly.

“In the case of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, we have a Deputy Speaker and we also have a Deputy Governor but in the case of Chief Judge, there is no deputy.

“Once the Chief Judge is not there, the entire activities of Judiciary are crippled, we talk about the assignment of cases, there will be nobody to assign cases, nobody to attend to official or administrative matters.

“We have condemned the non-appointment of the substantive Chief Judge, and we are saying whatever needs to be done should be done immediately for the Chief Judge to occupy that office.

“We would have gone to court and compelled whosoever has work to do in respect of the appointment of Chief Judge, but we cannot because nobody can assign cases.

“It’s as bad as that, we can’t even go to court because there is no court, even the vacation court that is supposed to be sitting cannot do that because there is no person to assign cases which would have been done by the Chief Judge, that is how bad it is, you cannot go to court to ask for an order, you cannot do anything.”

The reason behind the non-appointment of a substantive State Chief Judge is not clear at the moment.

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended in chapter 7, part 2, section 271, sub 1-5 states on appointment of Chief Judge of a State that:

(1) The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.

(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of a High Court of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold office of a Judge of a High Court of a State unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years.

(4) If the office of Chief Judge of a State is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any person unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the Governor of the State shall appoint the most senior Judge of the High Court to perform those functions.

(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council an appointment pursuant to subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the Governor shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

The Sen. Ben Ayade administration has been at loggerheads with NJC over the appointment of Maurice Eneji as acting Chief Judge against Akon Ikpeme.

Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism


CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.

Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.

Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.

CLICK HERE

New Feature: Don't miss any of our news again.Get all our articles in your facebook chat box.Click the Facebook Messenger Icon below to subscribe now

Text Advert by CRWatch :Place Yours

Will You To Learn How To Make Millions Of Naira Making Special Creams From Your Kitchen?.Click Here


Expose Your Business And Make More Sales. Advertise On CrossRiverWatch.com Today

You may also read!

X-Raying The River, Episode 2: Magistrates, Unpaid Salaries And The Rest Of Us

Welcome to the second episode of X-Raying The River where we x-ray different issues bedeviling Cross River State …

Read More...
Former Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Ekpenyong Ita Jr (L) submits a letter seeking the introduction of flights to Calabar, the Cross River State capital to Max Air limited Chairman, Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal (R). January 2021.

Aviation: Former Spy Chief Seeks Introduction Of Calabar Route For Max Air

By Jonathan Ugbal Nigeria’s former top spy, Ekpenyong Ita has written the management of Max Air limited to add

Read More...

Armed Forces Remembrance: Governor Ayade Lays Wreath For Fallen Heroes

By Archibong Jeremiah Cross River has joined the rest of the country to mark the 2021 Armed Forces remembrance

Read More...

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu

Share this now