NBA Ogoja Branch Condemns Vacuum in Office of Cross River State Chief Judge
The Ogoja Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Cross River has condemned the vacuum in the office of the Chief Judge of the state.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has remained silent over the situation days after the tenure of the acting Chief Judge, Justice Maurice Eneji, expired.
Justice Eneji’s tenure expired on September 2 and he cannot be reappointed having served two conservative tenures of three months each.
In a Press statement made available to Newswire Law & Events, the Branch urged the State Government, Chief Justice of Nigeria, National Judicial Council and other stakeholders to immediately address the judicial situation of the State.
Read full statement below:
PRESS STATEMENT: NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION OGOJA BRANCH – BY DAVID PETER
NBA Ogoja Branch do hereby condemn in very strong terms the unacceptable vacuum created in the Cross River State judiciary from 3rd September, 2020 when the 3 months acting period of our Acting Chief Judge Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji elapsed, without a corresponding extension, nor his appointment and swearing in as the substantive Chief Judge, this leaving the third arm of Government in Cross River State unheaded which runs contrary to the spirit and intendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
NBA Ogoja Branch has it on good authority that peace has since returned to the Judiciary in Cross River State with the sole recommendation of Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme as candidate for appointment as a Justice of the court of Appeal by the Governor of the Cross River State Senator Prof. Ben Ayade, and also that the purported crisis in the appointment of a Substantive Chief Judge for Cross River State Judiciary was propagated by persons not part of the Judiciary for their selfish interest.
Having regards of the relative peace in the Judiciary in Cross River State and the sole recommendation of Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme as candidate for appointment as Justice of the Court of Appeal may we humble call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the NJC to:
√ Urgently approve the extension of the Acting appointment of Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji as Acting chief judge of Cross River State, pending his recommendation as substantive Chief Judge, in the event that, it shall not be possible to urgently recommend him as Substantive Chief Judge without any delay in view of the vacuum already created.
We call on the Digital Governor of Cross River State, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, CJN and the NJC to do the needful to fill the unacceptable vacuum created in the Cross River State Judiciary, while we call on our members and all Stake Holders to remain calm as we pledge to continue to monitor the situation and ensure that the needful is done.
S. E. Adie Esq.
Chairman NBA Ogoja Branch
Nath Uche Esq.
Secretary NBA Ogoja Branch