Cross Rivers state Governor, Bassey Otu has called on judges to restore faith in the judiciary while swearing-in three newly appointed High Court Judges in the state; Hon. Justice Ama Edet Ekpo, Hon. Justice Theresa Ansa Agom and Hon. Justice Jarlath Ogar Agim in his office on Monday, January 8, 2024.
In his remarks, Governor Otu emphasized that the principle of separation of powers between the three arms of government is purely for checks and balances and not for opposition and friction
Otu said “Meanwhile, as they are sworn-in today as members of the full bench at a time the judiciary nationwide is under unbridled public criticism; a lot of judicial expertise is expected from them.
“While the debate on the veracity or otherwise of the public claims rages on, the undisputed fact remains that the judiciary needs to re-invent itself through self-cleansing procedure. The National Judicial Council of Nigeria (NJCN) should not relent in banging the gavel on erring judicial officers.
“The three judges sworn-in today must t therefore live above board to rekindle the faith and trust of the common man in the judiciary”.
He further stated that, “The current symbiotic relationship between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary in the State is therefore worthy of commendation; as it has facilitated the seamless movement of the machinery of government. The resultant effect is the accelerated growth and development of the State. May I therefore sue for more of this cooperation for the good of the State.”
While acknowledging the three elevated judges for their hard work which necessitated their elevation, the Governor expressed concern about the public criticism of the judiciary nationwide urged the judges to restore the trust of the common man
“The three judges so elevated today are carefully chosen among the legal luminaries in the State Judiciary. They are therefore found to be an embodiment of hard-work, sincerity, integrity and with a firm knowledge and understanding of the law”Otu added.
The Governor further charged the Judiciary to assist the society in the decongestion of Correctional Centres through the effective use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) option.
Earlier, in her remarks, the State Chief Judge, Justice Akon Ikpeme, advised the newly elevated judges to discharge their duties with the fear of God and in accordance to the rule of the law.
“You are coming into an arena which requires integrity, impartiality and efficiency. I charge you to give judgement with fairness and according to the Rule of Law.
“As you take your oath this afternoon, don’t just recite it as anything, listen to the wordings of the oath and keep to it,” Justice Ikpeme charged the new judges”CJ said.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, the Deputy Governor, Speaker Elvert Ayambem, members of the State Executive Council, elder statesmen, members of the traditional council and the clergy.