June 14, 2024

Sidelining of Justice Ikpeme: Olukunle Edun & Ors. v. The Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly & Ors. Adjourned for Judgment

Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme

The matter of Olukunle Edun & Ors. V. The Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly & Ors has been adjourned until April 8, 2020,⁠—for delivery of judgment.

Mr. Edun disclosed that: ”The case was heard Monday and adjourned until Wednesday for judgment. We strongly believe that we have a good case and that the decision of the Federal High Court, Calabar would go a long way in our quest to defend the integrity and independence of the Judiciary, and to put to the dustbin of history the discriminatory practice of adopting State of Origin in the appointment of Chief Judges of States. The decision, whichever way it goes, would be landmark. 

”We want to thank our learned silk, foremost human right lawyer in Nigeria, Femi Falana, SAN for his direction and intellectual input. We thank also our young but brilliant counsel in the matter, Assam Assam and members of our legal team.

”Assam Assam actually put a lot of industry into this case. Of course, the no-nonsense Ike Augustine was a major factor in pushing for this case. All the Plaintiffs in the matter, including my humble self….history will judge us well and reward us positively in our quest for a better society. 
The case has been adjourned until the 8th of April, 2020 for judgment. Thank you”. Edun said.

In March, the Cross River State Government appointed Justice Maurice Eneji Acting Chief Judge following the House of Assembly’s refusal to confirm the National Judicial Committee (NJC)’s recommended nominee, Justice Akon Ikpeme.

Justice Ikpeme was 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.

The sidelining of the Justice Ikpeme caused uproar in the legal sector as it is perceived as an upfront attack on the cherished concept of judiciary independence.

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