Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
As Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme assumes duty as the substantive Chief Judge of Cross River State following her swearing in by the state governor, a group under the aegis of Odukpani Leadership Academy has joined the host of innumerable Cross Riverians to congratulate her for a well deserved appointment.
The Academy also showered encomiums on the newly sworn in Cross River state head of Service, Geraldine A. Ekanem for her outstanding performances which made the state governor accord her the honour of serving in the respected office.
They expressed confidence in the duo and were optimistic that the Cross River state judiciary and civil service would be reformed and revived to compete with global best practices. They said the appointments were timely divine interventions. They described both Ikpeme and Ekanem as legal luminary and phenomenal stars with proven track of records which has endeared them to all.
In a release signed by Chairman of the group, Kingsley Ikpeme and the secretary, E. E. Esu a copy of which was made available to TNN, they believed that Ikpeme was a woman of destiny following the intrigues that played out before her confirmation and swearing in as the chief judge of the state. The release which was titled: ‘Justice prevailed at last’ reads thus:
“On behalf of the exco and entire members of Odukpani Leadership Academy (an assembly of past student and youth leaders of Odukpani extraction), we join your family, well-wishers and indeed the entire people of Cross River State to felicitate with you on the occasion of your appointment and subsequent swearing in as the Chief Judge of Cross River State in line with the extant provision of section 271 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).
“My Lord, the academy followed with keen interests the events/intrigues that finally led to your swearing in as the substantive CJ of the state and we have no doubt in our hearts that, you are, indeed, a woman of great destiny and calling. As you man the hallowed office of the CJ of Cross River State, we are most optimistic that you will bring your wealth of sound legal knowledge and seasoned administrative acumen to bear in the effective discharge of your duties/functions as the CJ of CRS.
“My Lord, the myriads of encomiums showered on you at your swearing in are testaments to the fact that CRS is blessed to have you man the sacred office of the Chief Judge. As you assume the office, accept the assurances of our unalloyed support and cooperation throughout your tenure as the CJ of CRS. Once again, congratulations My Lord!”
Similarly, in a felicitation letter to the new head of service which was jointly signed by chairman of the academy and the secretary, they described Ekanem as a woman of virtue and capabilities who has proven to be trustworthy and committed in all her previous engagements in the Cross River state civil service. They expressed confidence that she will be outstanding in ensuring that civil service in the state will be totally revived in all ramifications. “The Odukpani Leadership Academy felicitate with you on your appointment and subsequent swearing-in as Head of Service CRS.
“Ma, your appointment did not come to us as a surprise giving your service track record of hard work, dedication and commitment to duties which endeared you to the heart of his Excellency the Governor of CRS and the entire civil servants. As Pablo Picasso puts it, “Action is the foundational key to all success.” You are one among the very few people who put in their whole heart into everything they do. With the amount of love and passion you show towards your work, it is, therefore, not surprising how you rose through the ranks to the exalted office of the Head of Service.
“Apropos, what you have been able to achieve is phenomenal. The standing ovation represents only a fraction of the recognition you deserve. We could not have been more impressed to be associated with you. Your appointment as Head of Service of Cross River State amounts to putting a square peg in a square hole and we are confident you will deplore your wealth of knowledge and experience in the discharge of your duties.”