Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State, has sworn in Justice Akon Ikpeme as the Acting Chief Judge of the state following the retirement of Hon. Justice Michael Edem, the Chief Judge of the state.
Swearing in Justice Ikpeme on Tuesday, Ayade said, “I have full respect for section 153 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which provides for the setting up of the National Judicial Council to safeguard the judiciary from the executive.”
Ayade said, “The National Judicial Council is the final authority on matters involving the appointment of the Chief Judge of the state. I also recognise the role of the governor as well and I believe that for the interest and peace of the state, for the goodness of character and the warmness of the state, the right thing to do at this point is what the state has done by swearing in an acting Chief Judge.”
Ayade emphasized that “the beauty of the law is that the law is derived from morality, ethics, and norms of the people,” adding “the law has moral sensitivity that we must respect hence Hon Justice Ikpeme’s appointment today is a clear testimony of the civilization of Cross River state.”
He said he was impressed with the acting Chief Judge’s curriculum vitae, adding that he had no doubt on her intellectual capacity that would drive the judiciary of the state.
“Let me congratulate you for this great feat because I know as a woman you have higher ethics and higher morals and I believe that as a mother, all of those qualities will come to bear,” the governor stated.