C’River Chief Judge: Ayade almost jeopardized his integrity
The drama that characterised the appointment of a new Chief Judge in the State was such that raised serious questions about the integrity of the Governor Ben Ayade.
Upon retirement of the out-gone Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edem, the opprobrious undertones orchestrated by the State’s number one citizen, cast a doubt on the the independence of the judiciary, especially with the perpetrator – the Governor – being one who has boasted of doing anything to maintain his incorruptibility.
Though Justice Akon Ikpeme has finally been sworn-in, the unconstitutional attempt to appoint a junior judge, had it pulled through, could have sapped the judiciary in Cross River State and derided the legal profession.
It is noteworthy that a lot of groups, especially Mba E. Ukweni & Assocites (Legal Practitioners), spoke against such travesty, which later saw the State Government succumbed to the pressure of swearing-in the rightful person for the position.
Mba E. Ukweni & Associates had accused those concerned of ethnicity, gender bias, clannish interests, connivance, cajoling and wooing members of the bar and the bench in the State in an attempt to dissolve, constitute and re-constitute the Cross River State Judicial Commission and to impose the Governor’s crony, a junior judge, to supplant Hon. Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme, the most senior judge.
Although they say politicians have little or no moral probity and respect for integrity, they must refrain from mindless and egomaniacal infractions to the constitution, as it would do no good to Cross River State and even themselves.