C’Rivers Assembly confirms Justice Ikpeme as CJ, claims new fact

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Ada Wodu, Calabar

THE Cross River State House of Assembly has confirmed Justice Akon Ikpeme as substantive Chief Judge of the state after rejecting her twice.

The confirmation took place on Thursday at the state House of Assembly in Calabar following a motion moved by the Leader of the House and representative of Ogoja Constituency, Peter Odey, and seconded by the Chief Whip, Okon Ephraim, representing Calabar South 1.

A letter by Governor Ben Ayade seeking her confirmation as substantive Chief Judge of the state was read on the floor of the House by the Clerk, Bassey Ekpenyong, before a motion was moved for her confirmation which was done by an overwhelming voice vote of members.

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Speaking on why Ikpeme was confirmed Thursday as substantive Chief Judge in spite of her earlier rejection, the Speaker, Eteng Williams, said, “The Assembly just did its job. We got new facts; we got documents that we needed. We’ve done our own findings,” adding that what the lawmakers had done was to stabilise the judiciary.

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According to him, the Chief Judge is expected to discharge her duties without fear or favour.

Also speaking, Peter Odey, who moved the motion for Ikpeme’s confirmation, said, “It was the decision of the House at that time not to confirm her. And it is the decision of the House of Assembly to confirm her today. The House has done the needful and that chapter is now behind us. I wish Cross River judiciary well.”

The National Judicial Council had earlier recommended Justice Ikpeme to be confirmed as the Chief Judge of the state following the retirement of Justice Michael Edem in 2019.

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However, the State House of Assembly refused to confirm her, saying Justice Ikpeme is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State, though married to a Cross River man.Copyright PUNCH.

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