BATTLE OVER CHIEF JUDGE APPOINTMENT

Written by on December 1, 2020

THE CROSS RIVER AND GOMBE STATES JUDICIARIES ARE IN THE EYE OF THE STORM FOLLOWING THEIR INABILITY TO RESOLVE THEIR CHIEF JUDGE (CJ) APPOINTMENT CRISIS. THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM IS THE REFUSAL OR INABILITY OF BOTH STATES TO COMPLY WITH THE NATIONAL JUDICIAL COUNCIL’S (NJC’S) CHOICE.

FOR ALMOST ONE YEAR, CROSS RIVER HAS BEEN WITHOUT A SUBSTANTIVE CHIEF JUDGE, FOLLOWING THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY’S REFUSAL TO CONFIRM THE NJC’S RECOMMENDED NOMINEE, JUSTICE AKON IKPEME.

LAST DECEMBER, THE STATE’S JUDICIAL SEVICE COMMISSION (JSC) RECOMMENDED JUSTICE AKON IKPEME AND JUSTICE MAURICE ENEJI TO THE NATIONAL JUDICIAL COUNCIL (NJC) FOR APPOINTMENT AS THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE STATE.

JUSTICE IKPEME IS THE MOST SENIOR JUDGE OF THE STATE’S JUDICIARY AND WAS APPOINTED IN ACTING CAPACITY ON DECEMBER 3, 2019, FOLLOWING THE RETIREMENT OF FORMER CHIEF JUDGE, JUSTICE MICHAEL EDEM.

JUSTICE ENEJI WAS NEXT IN LINE.

THE GOVERNMENT STATED ITS PREFERENCE FOR IKPEME J AND ENEJI J AS THE RESERVE CANDIDATE BASED, AMONGST OTHERS, ON SENIORITY.


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