Some members of the Cross River State House of Assembly are being intimidated by very top members of the executive arm of the government, as the Assembly prepares to receive the report on the screening of the acting chief judge, Justice Akon Ikpeme.
On Thursday evening, a member of the House from the southern senatorial district got a call from a very senior person in the executive, reminding him of how much the government spent on his case at the elections tribunal and how he must not betray the interest of the government.
According to findings, the governor, Prof Ben Ayade does not want Ikpeme as chief judge. He is said to prefer his kinsman as chief judge. The speaker, Mr Eteng William was only literarily coerced to bring up the matter for discussion on the floor of the House.
The lawmaker from the south was also told that if he chose to vote for the confirmation of Ikpeme when the matter is brought up, he would lose his candidate for the chairmanship of his local government, during the forth-coming local government elections.
A similar call was made to a member of the House from central senatorial zone by the same top executive of the state government. The lawmaker was promised the office of deputy speaker, as long as he would oppose the confirmation of Ikpeme.
TNN learnt that many other members of the House who had been identified to be against the interest of the executive are being approached and threatened to drop their support for Ikpeme’s confirmation.
The committee on judiciary is expected to turn in the report of their screening for debate on Friday(today)