By Jonathan Ugbal
Information reaching our newsroom suggests that Justice Akon Ikpeme will soon be confirmed by the Cross River State House of Assembly.
This follows her recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC) to Governor Ben Ayade who is reported to have preferred Justice Maurice Eneji, Ikpeme’s junior.
The Calabar branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is said to have met to discuss the leadership of the Judiciary.
And, the State’s Chief Prosecutor and Attorney General, Tanko Ashang is said to have attended in order to plead with them to stay action.
Sources at the meeting said Mr. Ashang had informed the NBA that the issue was been sorted out as the NJC had insisted on the recommendation of Justice Akon Ikpeme.
He also said that the issue of Magistrates was been sorted out.
The State has gone 424 days without a substantive Chief Judge since the retirement of Justice Michael Edem in November 2019.
And, following the elapse of the tenure of Justice Effiom Eyo-Ita as acting Chief Judge on January 19, 2021, the NJC is said to have insisted on Ikpeme.
She had acted from December 2019 until March 2, 2020 with Governor Ayade swearing in Justice Eneji in acting capacity twice for acting tenures of three months each.
The State then went 46 days without a head of the Judiciary until Justice Eyo-Ita was sworn-in, in October 2020 following the nod of the NJC.
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