She was confirmed as Chief Judge by the state House of Assembly on January 28, 2021, which had earlier declined to confirm her twice after she acted as the Chief Judge between December 3, 2019 and March 2, 2020.
The governor described Justice Ikpeme as a woman with great conscience as well as a covenant child.
He said her swearing in brings to an end crisis in the state judiciary which resulted in two other justices acting as acting Chief Judge of the state, adding that only God fought her battle and her inauguration will bring stability to the judiciary.
According to him, “Today brings to a close the internal concerns and worries of the people over the stability of the judiciary. We do not need any distraction and want a very stable judiciary.
“Justice Ikpeme is a woman with great conscience and a covenant child. God’s will has prevailed, no man fought your battle but only God.
“As God touched my heart, so did he touch the heart of every one to support your emergence. As a child of God, I pray that God will touch your soul and ensure that there is no injustice in Justice dispensation in the state.”
Speaking, the National President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Apata, said he is delighted that the process has come to an end.
“I am glad that all the dramatis personae have been able to come to this fantastic outcome that reflects the intendment of our constitution.
“Democracy runs on the three arms of government, they stand independently but they must also collaborate for it to succeed.
“She is inheriting a judiciary with issues and I am praying she has the wisdom to navigate the stormy waters and uphold the independence of the judiciary which is very critical.”
Responding, Justice Ikpeme gave glory to God for her emergence, saying, “We have kept the past behind us and are moving forward. God has been gracious to us by making this day possible and it will be foolhardy to dwell on the past, we are moving forward.
“God rules in the affairs of men and uses men to fulfil his purposes so we thank him for making this day possible.”
Justice Ikpeme was born on October 21, 1959 and was first appointed as a judge in the state judiciary on November 16, 1998.
She is the second female Chief Judge of the state after Justice Dorothy Eyamba Idem.