From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, has sworn in Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme as the Chief Judge following National Judicial Council (NJC) recommendation.
The governor, while inaugurating her at the executive council chambers, said only God fought her battle and her tenure would bring stability to the judiciary.
“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 God will touch your soul and ensure there is no injustice in justice dispensation in the state,” he said.
The Nigerian Bar Association National President, Olumide Akpata, said they were delighted the process has come to an end.
“I am glad all the dramatist 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,” the NBA president said.
In her response, Ikpeme said: “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.”
She said the governor is humane and promised to collaborate with other arms of government to move the state forward.
Justice Ikpeme was born on October 21, 1959 and was first appointed as a judge in the state judiciary on November 16, 1998 and the second woman chief judge of the state after Justice Dorothy Eyamba Idem.