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After rejecting her twice over ‘state of origin’, C’River assembly confirms Ikpeme as CJ

After rejecting her twice over ‘state of origin’, C’River assembly confirms Ikpeme as CJ
January 28
14:22 2021

Twice they rejected her — because she is “not” from Cross River state.

But the state lawmakers had a rethink and finally confirmed Akon Ikpeme as substantive chief judge of the state on Thursday.

For the record, Ikpeme was born in Cross River, schooled in the state, practised law there, is married to a Cross Riverian and all her children tick “Cross River” as their home state.

But some lawmakers insisted that she was from the “rival” Akwa Ibom state — which was part of Cross River until 1987.

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Despite having the backing of the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) and Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the state assembly had rejected Ikpeme’s appointment twice on ground of “state of origin”.

She was confirmed as the CJ on Thursday following a motion moved by Peter Odey, leader of the house and representative of Ogoja constituency, and seconded by Okon Ephraim, whip representing Calabar south 1.

Prior to the motion, a letter sent by Ben Ayade, the state governor, seeking her confirmation as the substantive CJ of the state was read on the floor of the house by Bassey Ekpenyong, the Clerk.

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Speaking Ikpeme’s confirmation after previous rejections, Eteng Williams, speaker of the house assembly, said: “The assembly just did its job. We got new facts. We got documents that we needed. We’ve done our own findings.”

Williams said the new CJ Is expected to discharge her duty “without fear or favour”.

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.”

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