The Efik Leadership Foundation (ELF) has decried the non-confirmation of the Acting Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Akon Ikpeme by the State House of Assembly.


In a protest letter delivered to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Eteng Jonas Williams, the group lamented the non confirmation of the Acting Chief Judge.

The protest letter titled ‘let due process be followed in the appointment of the chief judge of cross river state’, signed by the Chairman Board of Trustee, Richard Duke and Chairman, Good Governance Committee, Timothy Achibong Esu esq, was made available to DAILY POST on Wednesday.


“Our only concern in the Efik Leadership Foundation (ELF) is to advocate that good governance, the rule of law and adherence to well-established traditions and practices of civil administration shall prevail in the State.

“Unfortunately, with the recent retirement of Hon. Justice Michael Edem as Chief Judge, the succession to this exalted office has become mired in needless and avoidable controversy and attempts at politicising the appointment of the next Chief Judge.


“It is now well-known within and outside the State that the NJC has recommended Justice Akon B. Ikpeme, currently the most senior Judge and Acting Chief Judge, for nomination for appointment as the next Chief Judge, in accordance with the said time-honoured and well known practice,

“His Excellency, the Governor has forwarded the NJC’s recommendation to the State House of Assembly for legislative action, which as there being no legitimate negative considerations against Justice Ikpeme, should pass a resolution approving the recommendation; whereupon His Excellency swears her in as the Chief Judge of the State.

“It is well-known that at least three other Acting Chief Judges recommended by the NJC on the same day as Justice Ikpeme were, like her, the most senior Judges in their States. These three Acting Chief Judges have since had their nominations approved by their State Houses of Assembly and have been sworn-in by the Governors of their States.

“We are, therefore, very concerned about the delay in completing the formalities prior to Justice Ikpeme’s formal assumption of office. This has caused considerable uncertainty and created room for speculation about what lies behind this delay,” the group noted.


Accordingly, the group stated that there was widespread speculation that certain forces are at work lobbying the Cross River State House of Assembly to reject Justice Ikpeme’s nomination by the State Governor on the recommendation of the NJC.

“This speculation puts at stake the credibility of the entire Cross River State Government, particularly of His Excellency and the Honourable House, and their respect for the Constitution and long-standing norms, practices and traditions of constitutional governance and the legal profession,” the group said.


“Therefore, we call on you Mr. Speaker and all the members of the House of Assembly, not to do the unthinkable and set the patently bad precedent of rejecting the nomination of Justice Ikpeme to the office of Chief Judge. We call on the House of Assembly to consequently ratify the said nomination and communicate same to the Governor,” they added.


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